Skip to main content
HISTORY OF DEPUE
7673 - FATHER MARQUETTE DISCOVERED THE LAKE
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
CARL!: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois
DePue Centennial Officers
DePue Centeimial committee officers admire Hydroplane, owned by Joe Michelini of Chicago,
which will run in the A.P.B.A. National "Alky" Championships on Lake DePue. Standing, left to
right, are: Homer Graham, Centennial Secretary; Robert Seeger of Chicago, Race General Chair-
man; Gerald Toovey, Centennial General Chairman; Donald Bosnick, Centennial Director; Har-
old Banick, Centennial Director; and Edward Peterson, Centennial Director. Absent when picture
was taken was Meyer Serkes, Centennial Treasurer. — Photographer Robert Kruchinski
The Centennial Planning Committee
On September 18, 1960, the first meeting of the
Centennial Planning Committee was called to order
by Mayor Matt Fassino in the Council Chambers.
Fassino stated that the village board was not
the sponsor oi the celebration, but a start had to
be made, and with the approval of the board, he
had previously appointed Gerald Toovey temporary
Toovey, a third generation native, the son of
Mrs. Marguerite Rauh Toovey, daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Fred Rauh Sr., was duly elected permanent
centennial chairman and took the office that after-
Homer Graham was elected secretary; Meyer
Serkes, treasurer; Donald Bosnick, Harold Banich,
and Edward Peterson, directors. Many representa-
tives of various organizations v/ere present and the
groundwork was laid for the 1961 centennial cele-
Several objectives were discussed and plans set
in motion to carry them through, namely, to have
every organization in DePue participate in the cen-
tennial; to have the 1961 A.P.B.A., National Cham-
pionship Outboard Regatta on Lake DePue, and
to arrange a variety of entertainment to please ev-
eryone with special activities planned for the chil-
dren plus a Queen Contest.
Various means of financing the celebration
were discussed, including the races, contests, sou-
venirs, car raffle, and others.
To successfully accomplish these objectives
and meet many unexpected problems in planning
such a gigantic event, Toovey called for expressions
of pride and goodwill and the cooperation of every
He expressed the committee's gratitude for all
contributions of time, efforts, and funds. The profits
will be donated to the village for improvements.
A non-profit organization charter was granted the
committee in March, 1961 by the Secretary of State.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Seeger, Chicago, hove ex-
tended much valuable assistance and publicity re-
garding the Regatta. Mr. Seeger is racing com-
missioner of the American Power Boot Association.
The following organizations have been repre-
sented at the monthly planning sessions: DePue
Boat Club, DePue Booster Club, DePue Business
Men, DePue Fire Department, American Legion
Post 327, and Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Post 4602 and Auxiliary, Slovenian Lodge S. N. P. J
59, American Fraternal Union 130, New Jersey Zinc
Company, U.S. Steel Workers of America Local
5212, Men's Fellowship and Ladies Guild of DePue
Congregational Church, St. Anne's, Our Lady, and
Altar Sodalities, and Holy Name Society of St.
Mary's Catholic Church, Girl Scouts, and Boy
In The Beginning
Almost one hundred and thirty years ago, pion-
eer families leaving their homes in the east, began
to arrive, some in covered wagons, some by boat,
and some on foot, and settled in what was then a
They set the stage for the opening performance
of a "show" that was destined to have a continuous
run. Their theater was the beginning of DePue.
It was, according to all historical reviews, an im-
posing drama of sadness and joy, war and peace,
gains and losses, life and death. This courageous
"first act" was superb.
The actors, our stalwart ancestors, were de-
termined that no reverses, great or small, would
bring down the curtain on their show! They all
played major roles — there was no memorizing
lines for theirs was a human drama, lived from
day to day.
In the vernacular of today's theatrical world,
the pioneers' first act would be called a "wild west-
The curtain has gone down for all of those early
actors, but not before a new generation of actors
had taken over. Some of these people are still here
and are watching the show go on.
If the original few in the very first act, over
one hundred and thirty years ago, could have
front row seats today, would they recognize it to
be a continuation of what they institued?
Certainly they would see that much progress
has been made; their efforts had been productive;
their prayers had been answered. They would be
as proud of the new actors as we ore of them.
Certainly they would be bewildered, but would
marvel at the splendor of the brightly-colored neon-
lighted show of today — for their "footlights" were
dishes of grease with rag wicks, resinous pine
knots, and later candles and crude oil lamps.
They would see that the stage settings, scenery,
costumes and properties had progressed. They
would not comprehend nuclear power, jet planes,
space ships, satellites, rockets and such — for they
knew only oxen, horses, mules and water power.
The show in the years 1861 to 1961 are in re-
view — they are history. A new act is taking form,
but still a continuation. It is no longer a real wes-
tern show but an atomic spectacular.
Who is to say, if we could have front row seats
one hundred years from now, that we would recog-
nize the show? We, too, will progress as will our
descendants, for the show must go on.
In planning and celebrating DePue's centen-
nial, we pay special tribute to those brave, devout
pioneers and their descendants. We honor their
courage and revere their determination and ag-
gressiveness. We will always reserve front row
seats for them in the historical reviews of time.
— • Mrs. Alice Glover Deal
The Early Years
In 1914, Mrs. Albert Frey, a former teacher in
the DePue School compiled a short history of the
village, to be given at a club meeting. But for the
fact that she interviewed, at that time, the three
remaining early settlers of the village, no authentic
records would have been made of the beginning
of the territory now known as DePue.
From Charles L. Savage, Doras (Mrs. Edward)
Tinley, 83 years old at that time, and Mrs. Henriet-
ta Savage, Mrs. Frey was able to obtain an early
record of the pioneers, the development of the vill-
age, the start of schools and churches. It is from
some of her story that we relate much of this chap-
Charles Savage first settled with his parents
in Hennepin in 1831 and came to this area in 1836.
It is through his knowledge of pioneer days that
we know Shabbona, the friendly Indian Chief and
other Indians often visited in the pioneer homes.
The old settlers recalled being able to shoot
wild turkey or deer at any time. This vast wilder-
ness abounded in many wild beasts and game of
all kind. Wild hogs were plentiful along the river
bottoms. Passenger pigeons, now almost extinct
were so numerous that they broke down trees with
their weight. The lake and streams abounded with
fish; a single draw of the nets would yield tons
of fish at a time.
Savage was a farmer, land owner and auc-
tioneer. He bought land before the Civil War. He
later sold 200 acres to the Mineral Point Zinc Com-
The three old settlers told of the great produc-
tivity of the land in this area, but also spoke of low
prices. Corn sold for 6 cents a bushel and wheat
at 121/2 cents a bushel. Dressed pork v/as 75 cents
a hundred. They told of hauling grain to Chicago
by oxen, the trip required a month.
There v/as a great deal of malaria in the early
years and though the settlers were surrounded with
abundance, they often did not have the health to
partake of it. Other bits of the early history told
by these old timers will be included in other parts
of the story of DePue.
The village was first called Newport Steamboat
Landing, second Trenton, then Sherman, and final-
ly DePue. In many old records and on the village
seal the name was spelled Dupue. While known
as Trenton, the post office was then Selby (Shelby)
it was discovered thcrt another town of Trenton
existed on the Mississippi River and to avoid delay
in mail delivery, the name was changed to Sher-
In 1835, John Hall built a large warehouse.
Steamboats began to come to his landing and load
with produce for delivery to towns along the Illi-
nois and Mississippi Rivers.
In 1836, a company was formed and land pur-
chased from John Clark. They built two large ware-
houses and the village became the great shipping
point for all of the country west of the Illinois River.
A brisk trade was carried on for many years in
grain and livestock by farmers and business men.
In 1853, Benjamin Newell, a pioneer business
man, laid out the town and called it Trenton. The
site was platted by Justin Olds, surveyor. Newell
was recorded as the town proprietor. At one time
he owned almost 1200 acres of land and most of
In 1842, Newell purchased two warehouses and
a pork house. He packed and shipped pork to St.
Louis by boot. He built a grist mill and ground
wheat into flour. He also built a cooper shop and
made the barrels for the flour. Steamboats came
once a week for cargoes of flour, potatoes and
Newell built a saw mill and employed 100 wood-
choppers to clear the land. The saw mill stood near
the lake at the corner of what is now Union and
Second streets. The saw mill's capacity was 115
railroad ties per day, for shipment. In 1850, grading
was begun in this area for the Chicago, Rock Island
and Pacific Railroad. Ties were laid in 1851-52.
The first trains were run as for as Rock Island in
1854. A single track was laid. Wood used as fuel
for the engines was sawed into logs and piled
along the tracks from the East Crossing to the west
edge of the village for DePue was a fueling station.
In 1856, besides the cooper shop, warehouses,
grist and saw mills there was one store, one black-
smith shop, one saloon and one hotel.
These early pioneers were law-makers too. The
Village of Sherman was incorporated under the
common law in 1861. The charter was obtained
through the efforts of Mr. Stacy, representative, for
$5.00. The village council met once a month, and
were paid 50 cents. Liquor license was $50.00 per
From an early record called Sherman Journal
1866 (early pages were missing) we learned that
they had a lengthy ordinance (6 sections) regulat-
ing the sale of liquor; an ordinance relating to
collection of fines, forfeitures, penalties and costs;
an ordinance concerning nuisances and the health
of the village; an ordinance to prevent gambling
and other disorderly conducts in the village; an
ordinance fixing the boundaries of the village, and
an ordinance regulating the speed of trains through
the village. It was set at six miles per hour.
The village board was G. Kelums, president, G.
Ireland, C. Savage, N. Lushinger and David Meyers.
H. C. Hill was clerk. These ordinances were ap-
proved and adopted June 30, 1866, drawn up by
Ide and Kendall, attorneys, at a cost of $17.00.
On February 18, 1867, the same village board
adopted the following resolution to-wit: "That we,
the village board, adopt the act entitled, "An act
to change the name of the town of Sherman to that
of Dupue, and to extend the corporate powers
In June, 1869, with Edward Tinley president,
the board ordained that the boundaries of said
town shall include within its limits, all of section
thirty-five (35) in township sixteen (16) north, range
ten (10) east of the fourth (4th) principal meridian.
It wasn't until Dec. 15, 1908 with George M. Bryant,
president, that the seal was changed and embossed
with the name of the village spelled "DePue".
In 1888, a special election was held to deter-
mine if DePue would become organized as a village
under the act of the general assembly of the State
of Illinois. Thirty-eight votes were cast for village
organization under the general law. Charles Sav-
age was the president, trustees were Charles and
Martin Banschbach, Thomas Shaw, Barney Yocks,
with Frank Pope, clerk. In 1901, the charter was
granted by James A. Rose, Secretary of State.
The German Settlers
Mrs. Anna Yocks Lawless, 81 years old, who
came to America with her parents, the Bernard
Yocks, when she was a baby, has lived in DePue
most of her life. She was one of the class of seven
to graduate in 1896 from DePue's two-year high
school. With her keen memory of early DePue she
has given us this "first hand" information regarding
the early German settlement in the Village.
"There are a good many names of German
origin in the early records of the village, among
them are the following: Achinger, Bernhardt, Beyer,
Banschbach, Croisant, Dunterman, Feltes, Goering,
Gieler, Gusman, Hahn, Hartman, Hassler, Heitz,
Herzog, Hoppler, Huber, Krieg, Krueger, Link, Luch-
singer, Maikels, Meyer, Schmidt, Seeburger, Sted-
man, Stoffel, Werner, Wuban, Wolters, and Zim-
The last sizable emigration from Germany
was in the late 1870's and early 1880's. Some of
those families were: Herman Baumer, August
Bansch, Ernest Guenther, Henry Hulsen, Fred
Krueger, George Lemmler, Jacob Mueller, Stefan
Nawa, Albert Stieffel, Jacob Stuecken, Julius Thron,
Bernhardt Yocks, John Schworts, Albert Eiselman,
Reinhardt Barthel and Martin Hedke.
Germany had had compulsory education laws
for years, so when the principal of the school pro-
posed holding night classes to teach English, most
of these men were eager to attend, as well as the
three Baumer sons, Fritz, Herman and Gustave;
and Clement and William Wolff, nephews of the
Yocks and Nawas (The wives, presumably, were
supposed to learn English from the men!) But the
incentive for them to learn it immediately was lack-
ing, since German was spoken by the two mer-
chants in town — Frey and Bernhardt, and Goering
in the mecrt market.
Peru, only ten miles away, with two depart-
ment stores was able to offer more merchandise
and the clerks spoke German, too.
In those early years, wherever groups of Ger-
mans gathered, there was singing. Here, too, they
were not long in organizing a "sang verein" —
or choral society. There were good voices, led by
Steve Nawa, conductor, giving them the pitch on
a violin. They sang all the old and new German
lieder. There was much sociability among the
families in connection with this. It undoubtedly
helped much to allay any homesickness for the
fatherland." — Mrs. Anna Yocks Lawless
Village Administration 1869 - 1900
The early settlers' problems in a village just
beginning to grow were different and difficult at
times. Lengthy ordinances were drawn up by the
village lawmakers on issues of liquor, gambling,
taxes, pounds, fines and penalties, peddlers, shows,
health, elections, poll tax, salaries, misdemeanors,
public safety, peace and quiet, police and the town
seal. From time to time these ordinances were
amended and enlarged. Enforcing them was a
The health of the people posed a constant prob-
lem. Contagious diseases, especially small pox,
spread quickly. Strict quarantine and fumigation
laws were enforced with special police to guard
the stricken premises; a pest house was in oper-
There were health problems through contam-
ination in wells, "rain barrels" and out houses.
Decaying remains of animals and fish were more
unhealthy problems to be met. Rabies was feared
because all animals, horses, cows, swine, goats
and such ran at large in the settlement.
All of that led to the building of a village pound
in 1870. It was 8 x 14 x 7; constructed of wire. Pound
masters were appointed at annual elections. Ani-
mals were impounded, fed and confined for a per-
iod of time and if not claimed they were sold crt
auction. George Hoppler, Sr., built the first pound
E. Tinley, president, H. C. Hill, George Hosier,
Sam Heitz and D. McCarthy were some of the law-
makers in this period. They instituted the poll tax.
of 2 days labor on the streets or $2.00 cash. They
levied a tax of 15 cents on $100.00 valuation of real
and personal properties for road and bridge pur-
poses. They set the liquor license at $40,00 per
year but in 1875 raised it to $100.00.
Building roads and bridges and keeping them
in repair were early problems. The creek that
crosses the "Cornfield" division of the village would
flood during heavy storms and wash out roads
and bridges. It still causes some damage at times.
Laborers were paid $1.00 per day and the road
commissioner was paid $1.75 per day.
A treasurer's report at the end of the fiscal year
of 1877 showed receipts $389.26, disbursements
$400.35 — in debt $11.09. Population of the village
then was nearly 300 people. The board members
were J. Hassler, B. Litchfield, C. Savage, Jacob Lu-
singer, A. Dunterman. Justus Pope, clerk.
As the years passed, wooden sidewalks were
built when the village finances permitted. Labor
was donated by the citizens being so benefitted.
Heretofore the streets were cinder and gravel paths.
In 1878 George Hoppler built the first calaboose
for the village. It was 12 x 20 x 9 — at a cost of
$245.00. Violators could now be lodged in it instead
of in the Princeton jail.
In 1881 a larger pound was built, liquor licens-
es were raised to $140.00, pack peddlers paid $1.00
a day license.
In 1885 the liquor license was increased to
$500.00 a year, the poll tax was dropped, new
Charles Savage, Board Member
board members were C. Banchbach, J. McKinstry
and T. Show. George Beyer was village marshal,
at a salary of $25.00 per month.
In 1889 fifteen keorsene lights were erected.
Lamplighters were appointed each year. Some
of the early ones were B. Yocks, G. Beyer and B.
In 1891 the ordinance regulating the speed of
trains in the village was changed to read — "from
6 miles to 10 miles per hour." Louis Monnett was a
new board member. W. Giesey was clerk. Wells
were being dug in the village for fire fighting and
In 1892 George Beyer was appointed captain
to organize a fire company. A fire engine costing
$775 was purchased from the Howe Pump and
Engine Co., of Indianapolis. Volunteer Fire Com-
pany No. 1 was organized with Beyer, chief, W.
Sweeley, assistant chief and Simon Huber, second
assistant. The board empowered the chief to en-
force the labor of any citizen at the fire engine
during a fire. The pump on the fire engine was
a "teeter-totter" principal and men worked the
A lengthy fire ordinance was drawn up. It
was agreed that the first man arriving at the fire
house with a team to haul the engine would be
paid $3.00. Jacob Lusinger was engineer. They
had 50 pails, 4 ladders and 4 grappling hooks as
extra equipment. The church bell sounded the fire
In the years 1892-1895 new lawmakers includ-
ed F. Baumer, R. Paden, W. Sullivan, J. Croisant,
J. Feltes, C. Stedman with Albert Frey as clerk at
a salary of $50.00 per year. More street lights were
erected. In 1896 F. Powers was mayor. Roads were
built and more sidewalks constructed.
In 1898 telephone companies were bidding for
the right to enter the village and the council grant-
ed such to the Central Union Telephone Co., to
place and maintain poles and necessary equip-
ment for supplying public communication by tele-
In 1898 the council accepted the J. V/hite and
Company plan for a village water works system.
They issued village warrants of the amount of
$3,000.00 for 6 years at 6 percent for payment of
In 1899 the first payment of $500.00 was made
on the water works. So started the village water
system. Dr. Rummell vaccinated the children of the
village at a cost of $39.00.
The treasurer's report at the end of that period
showed a balance on hand of $757.29.
The Years 1900 - 1930
These were the years of expansion. Members
of the second generation were beginning to take
over the village administration. Telephone and
electric light companies were given permission to
enter the village and "set-up." There were many
lengthy ordinances drawn to cover and regulate
all new progresses. There were constant amend-
ments of past ordinances made to meet the needs
The big, big boom commenced in 1904, when
the Mineral Point Zinc Co. purchased land and
began to build their plant. The population was
about 500, and during the period 1900 to 1930, the
population reached 2,300.
Naturally many homes had to be constructed,
new streets had to be opened and graveled. The
Plant built "company houses" in the Park Addition,
White City and Smoky Hollow. There were annex-
ations of many subdivisions owned by Keims,
Smiths, Banschbachs, Freys, Padens, Sorchychs and
In 1905, George Beyer asked for and was given
a franchise to operate an electric light system in
the village. Kerosene lights were in use, but many
business houses and "well-to-do" homes had gas
lights. Individual carbide tanks were used with the
same principal as coal miners' pit lamps.
"The DePue Journal" newspaper, published by
Ralph Hunt, was the official newspaper.
In 1906, the Illinois Valley Railway (Interurban)
was granted permission to lay down a railway
through the Village. The town board organized a
Board of Local Improvements and named Simon
Huber and George Glover to serve on it. Many
concrete sidewalks were constructed. Watts A.
Johnson, Princeton, was the village attorney.
In 1907, George M. Bryant was the mayor,
Harry F. Ream, treasurer, Lloyd Hurless, Clerk, Til
Winkler, night police, Jim Frost, marshal and Frank
Michalski was police in Keim's Addition to guard
homes under construction.
In 1908, the village council issued 10 bonds
of $500 each to finance the construction of a new
village hall. Donald Glassey, DePue, built the hail
for $4,885.90. Frank Powers, W. Heitz and Gus
Baumer were new trustees, Charles Pope, the clerk.
In 1909, the village paid the first payment of
$500, on the electric light system to the Lux Light
In 1910, a gasoline fire engine with four cylin-
ders was purchased at a cost of $1,425.00. The
board also purchased 500 feet of fire hose, costing
$237.00. A make-shift library was carried on in the
village hall. There were 15 saloons and liquor li-
censes were $500 per year.
In this year, too, the law-makers appropriated
$8,000 for a water works system. Water mains were
laid. Wils Rice was the main plumber. A street
was opened and widened, now known as East
Fourth Street, financed by general taxation.
In 1911, Ernest Guenther was president of the
board, Herman Bansch, Jacob Feurer and Harry
Dernbach were trustees. An artesian well was
drilled. The board appropriated $400 for lights,
$400 for police, $600 for salaries and $1500 for street
and alley work. Dr. Rummell had 50 quarantine
signs printed in Spanish, Polish, and Austrian. Wa-
ter rates were set at $1 per quarter for 15,000 gal-
lons; sprinkler wagons paid $3 per quarter.
In 1912 and 1913, Ernest Guenther was presi-
dent; John Goering, Hiram Giesey and Edwin
Dinwiddle were trustees. Lengthy water works
ordinances were drawn up. The board issued 15
water works bonds to finance the $8,000 water
The board also appropriated for corporate use
for the year $32,725.00, proof that the village was
rapidly expanding and improving. Of that amount
$6,000 was for streets and alleys, $4,000 for water
mains; $4,500 for construction of a building over
the artesian well; $3,500 motor, pump and equip-
ment; and $5,000 for the construction of a water
In 1915-16, George M. Bryant was president,
Chris Blindt, Ben Floyd, Charles Pierce were the
new board members. Water mains were laid in
Keim's, Smith's and the East Bluff Additions. Land
was purchased from Mary and Charles Banschbach
bordering on Lake DePue for a public park. They
issued $10,000 in Public Park Bonds. Electric lights
were put in homes in the Hollow Addition.
In 1917, Frank Fowler was president, David
Keim, John Feurer and Elmo Walker trustees,
George Glover, night police, Herman Bansch, mar-
shal. Streets were oiled. Automobiles were here
to stay and traffic ordinances were drawn up.
In 1918, John Rice and Chris Gieler were new
board members and Joe Herzog night police. Water
rent collected for three months in the village was
$548.19. Charles Pope, clerk, was also wcrter super-
intendent. The land acquired for the DePue ceme-
tery was surveyed and plotted; 16 special police
were appointed to serve the Mineral Point Zinc
Plant. The well on the East Bluff was completed
by the Plant and ordinances drawn up concerning
In 1919, L. G. Duncan was mayor, Jas. Brennan,
Frank Cantwell and Fred Krueger were trustees.
Martin Kendzierski was marshal, but resigned later
and moved away. Many homes were built, more
streets opened and graveled, electric light system
In 1920, L. G. Duncan was reelected but later
resigned to move away. His term was finished by
Fred Krueger. J. Graham, J. P. Helmer and Walter
Richardson were trustees. Harry Ream continued
to serve as the village treasurer. Village was to be
surveyed for a sewer system.
In 1921, Frank Fowler was mayor; David Keim,
Chris Johnson and Guy Jensen, trustees. They ap-
propriated $15,000 to use in extending and improv-
ing fire and water system. Water works bonds
were issued. A 150,000 gallon tank to be built in
the next year.
In 1922-23, F. Fowler was president with J.
Graham, J. Helmer, G. Jensen, W. Richardson, D.
Keim, C. Johnson trustees. August Bansch was
janitor. They appropriated $14,812.50 for corporate
uses, $6,000 being marked for street improvement.
They appointed Moses Hazlett, Henry Heyer, Mar-
tin Brennan, Al Lawrence, and John Mourer special
police for the zinc plant. Dr. W. Scanlon, 1922, Dr.
J. Lewis, 1923, headed the board of health. In 1923,
Miss Elizabeth McPheeters (Mrs. T. E. Sullivan) re-
placed the late Mrs. Andrew Beckley on the board
In 1924, there was an outbreak of typhoid fever.
Outhouses and flies were mainly responsible for it.
The sale of ice from the lake was prohibited. Plans
were started at once for a complete sewer system
in the village to cost $61,500. Ordinances were
drawn up concerning it. Motor vehicle tax of $5
per car was levied. The village purchased a 10,000
gallon tank of road oil. They also purchased a new
International fire truck for $4,700. Frank Cantwell
was fire chief.
In 1925, Harvey Seeley was mayor, Guy Jen-
sen, Ernst Hasse, L. A. Buffinger were trustees. A
sewer system contract was granted to Paul De
Paola, later taken over by L. A. Mullins.
In 1926, more lengthy ordinances governing
the sewer system were drown up Joe Herzog was
named superintendent of sewers. In that year, too,
the board drew up an ordinance permitting the
paving of the roadway of a portion of East, Fourth,
and Depot streets.
In 1927, and 1928, Harvey Seeley was mayor,
Guy Jensen, Eli Edwards, Ernest Hasse and Ignatz
Widmar were trustees. A band tax of one-half mill
on the dollar was levied for the village band. State
gas tax went into effect. Repairs were made to the
In 1929, Harvey Seeley was president. Not
much interest was shown in the village election
as only 47 votes were cast. The village clerk's sal-
ary was fixed at $75 per month; marshal's salai^/
$150. Teamsters were paid 90 cents per hour, truck-
ers $1.00, and day laborers, 50 cents per hour.
In 1930, there was competition for village clerk;
634 votes cast. Charles Pope received 455 and
Harry Helmer 176 votes. Lloyd Hurless resigned
as police magistrate and James Meagher was elect-
ed to fill that office.
Administration Years 1930 to 1961
The first half of this era were years of depres-
sion and World War II. In 1929 the stock market
crashed, business collapsed, banks closed and un-
employment spread, and the result was the world
wide depression that lasted five years. The Illinois
Emergency Relief Commission aided needy com-
munities, DePue included.
In the years 1929 to 1940, through federal
W.P.A. aid, DePue carried on a comprehensive pro-
gram of public improvement. One of the outstand-
ing improvements was the construction of a sewage
and disposal plant at a cost of $60,000 financed
through special assessments. DePue received a
state commendation, being one of the few commun-
ities along the Illinois River to install a system meet-
ing health requirements.
Other projects included a paved street through
the main business district to the west entrance of
the village; the boulevard lighting system was in-
stalled, two four-inch water mains were laid; a bit-
uminous road surface was laid on the road to White
City; the athletic field was made; sidewalk im-
provements were carried out; a walk way was con-
structed on the East Bluff bridge; well No. I was
recased and a new eight-inch well sunk.
In 1948-51, with federal W.P.A. aid and special
assessment bonds, curbs and gutters were construct-
ed throughout the village, costing $12,000. In 1948
the first coat of black-top was applied to all arter-
idl streets and in 1949 the second coat was applied
at a total cost of approximately $35,000, financed
through the Motor Fuel tax fund.
The lawmakers drew up new ordinances to
cover the projects, amended others and in 1933
again passed the ordinance prohibiting the sale
of malt and vinous beverages.
Harvey Seeley was mayor from 1930 to 1939.
Trustees serving in this period were Guy Jensen,
Ernest Hasse, J. V/. Heylmun, J. Gurnett, G. Dwyer,
Mark VanCleave, John Yuvan, W. Richardson and
I. Widmar. Harry Helmer became clerk in 1934.
Ernest Hasse was mayor from 1937 to 1943.
Trustees with him in 1937 were G. Dwyer, M. Van-
Cleave, J. Yuvan, J. Gurnett, J. P. Helmer and J.
Turner. Raymond Rauh was appointed clerk to fill
the vacancy caused by the death of Harry Helmer.
Harry Ream, Village Treasurer, died in 1942 and
C. W. Herzog was appointed to fill the vacancy.
J. P. Helmer was mayor from 1945 to 1949. Stan-
ley Piascyk was village clerk. Trustees with Helmer
were L. Reinsch, John Slatner Jr., V. Suarez, and
Gurnett who later resigned. Alma McLaughlin
filled the vacancy. In 1947, F. Hoffert, T. Glover
and F. Siska were elected. Robert Croissant wod
appointed marshal. Herman Bansch, DePue's be-
loved policeman for twenty-five years, died in 1946.
A Village Park Commission was created v/ith
F. Mickel, W. Glover, T. B. Blanco, N. K. Banks and
H. Marple as members. The American Legion, Post
327, named the new park "Memorial Park" in honor
of World Wars I and II veterans.
In 1949 Matt Fassino was elected mayor and
served until 1961. The board consisted of L. Mcn-
liere, J. Marple, V. Suarez, F. Hoffert, F. Siska and
T. Glover as trustees, and S. Piascyk as clerk. G.
Bryant was night policeman. Marliere resigned
and Harry Haupt was named to fill the vacancy.
The same board served in 1950. Erven Floyd
was appointed marshal and George Bryant night
policeman. The East Bluff park playgrounds were
created. In 1951 the board was changed to include
Charles Meadowcroft, who replaced Glover. In
1952 John Heck replaced Haupt. G Bryant resigned
and G. Glover was appointed as night policeman.
Clerk Piascyk resigned to become postmaster and
E. Kwit was appointed clerk.
In 1953-54 the board was Hoffert, Heck, Siska,
Suarez, R. Stein and C. Meadowcroft. In 1955-56-57,
it was Stein, Heck, Siska, Meadowcroft, Suarez
and W. Dolenga.
In 1959-60, W. Dolenga, J. Heck, E. Grilc, R.
Stein, V. Suarez and C. Meadowcroft served as
trustees. Kwit resigned as clerk and Homer Gra-
ham replaced him.
During Mayor Fassino's administration, curbs
and gutters were constructed and roads black-
topped in the White City area; an extensive side-
walk improvement program was carried out; a new
garbage truck was purchased; improvements made
on the ball park; a turbine pump was installed on
Well II; a new pump installed in the Water Works
Building and a jet pump installed in Well I.
Fourth Street was black-topped; a black topped
parking area on "Main Street" was completed in
1956, and a new $13,000 fire truck was purchased
at the close of his term and appropriations made
for the construction of a new fire house north of
the railroad right of way.
In 1961 Donald Bosnick was elected mayor.
He is the son of Paul and Marie Bosnick, DePue
business people since the early 1900's. The board
elected includes: Trustees Manuel Salcedo, E. Grilc,
Louis Machek, V. Suarez, C. Meadowcroft and W.
Dolenga with Homer Graham serving as clerk.
— Mrs. Alice Deal
Sixty Years of DePue's Families
When I was given the privilege of writing
about our first families in DePue, it seemed as if
it would be an easy task since name after name
went through my mind. I was around my father's
store from the time I could first walk and the people
who came and went there were so clear to me.
But when I tried to obtain dates of their birth;
when they came to America; when they came to
DePue, who they married, I hit snag after snag.
In many cases, not even surviving members of these
families knew the vital facts. To the Bureau County
Republican of June 10, 1902, I owe my thanks for
much of the material I gleaned. It was this date that
made me decide to make the biographies include
from 1840 to 1900, just before the Zinc Plant came
Many thanks to Reverend Ruesser, who so gen-
erously allowed me to use the records of the Evan-
gelical and Reformed Church of Hollowayville.
There were many families associated with the
Village: Rauhs, Dounterman, Hassler, Links, Jacob
and Martin Frey, and Herzogs who lived on farms
near DePue, and the families who lived on the
Ridge. The first voting place of DePue was on the
Ridge and so the history is interlaced.
To "Bureau County, Past and Present" I am
indebted also, for histories.
There is much I should like to have included
as many of these early people were great indi-
viduals, but I had to stop somewhere due to the
size of the finished book planned on.
The town council proceedings from 1867 to
1900, were also a source of information.
It was not only a privilege but a joy to live
DePue again through the history of these first fam-
ilies of DePue and surrounding country.
— Kathryn Frey Godfrey
Bansch, August, Sr.
August Bansch, Sr. came from Germany in
1884, and followed mining. His wife was Theresa
Stiefel, daughter of Albert Stiefel. The only one
of their children still living in DePue, is August, Jr.
who was born in Germany in 1878, and came to
DePue when a young boy. He is married to Ther-
esa Guenther Croisant (widow of Charles Croisant).
Martin Banschbach was born Aug., 1833 at
Oberschefflens, Germany. He came to DePue in
1854. The house he lived in (built by B. Newell)
is still occupied by two of his daughters, Elizabeth
and Lillian. One of his farms, now known as "The
Cornfield" and the other one "The Orchard" (Tin-
ley Ave.) were developed by Mrs. Banschbach for
building sites after the Zinc Plant came here. The
home was partly a tavern, and once there were
30 Union soldiers stayed overnight enroute to the
South. It was at the Banschbach house choir prac-
tice was conducted by the leader, Edward Tinley,
every week. Mr. Banschbach was married to Anna
Gus Baumer, 93, one of DePue's Oldest
Citizens and Daughter, Marie Baumer.
Gustov "Bismarck" Baumer came to DePue
from Germany in 1884, with his father and seven
brothers and sisters. His wife was Mable Dunter-
man, daughter of Ben Newell Dunterman. The tract
of land now know as the Park Addition, was owned
by the Baumer family. Mr. Baumer served as a
fireman, and on the town council of DePue. His
daughter, Marie, who makes her home with her
father, is the only member of the Baumer family
still living in DePue. Victor Muzzarelli lives in the
old family home.
Jacob Bernhardt was born in 1832, at Freilaus-
heim, Germany, and came to DePue in 1853. He
was married to Rosina Frey, daughter of Bernhard
Prey. His home, associated in the minds of old
timers was "The Green House" which stood where
the Torri Garage now is. He ran a store with John
M. Orthel, who served as village clerk in 1874. The
store stood where the Bosnich Tavern is.
He also had a large warehouse, where farmers
brought grain to be shipped out by boat. The foun-
dation stones of this building which burned to the
ground, can still be seen, and people sitting on
them to watch Labor Day races little realize what
an important building they supported.
The entire family moved to Nebraska in 1887
where he was president of the bank at Hastings.
He served on the town council many times, and
was treasurer in 1867. He and his wife are buried
in the Hollawayville Cemetery.
Philip Bernhardt, a brother of Jacob, was born
1829. He never married and after the Jacob Bern-
hardts moved to Nebraska, he made his home with
the Robert D. Padens. He served as president of
the town board in 1879.
George Beyer was born in Peru, Illinois, in
1859, and came to DePue in 1878. His principal
business was the grain elevator which was later
bought by George M. Bryant. His wife was Johan-
nah Hopper, of Bureau. In the early 1900s he lived
for awhile in Decatur, 111. He was secretary of the
Illinois Grain Dealers in 1903, and sales manager
of McLeod Automatic Grain Scale Co., of Pa., at the
time of his death. Mrs. James Meagher, a daughter,
is the only member of his family still living here.
The name of Brockhaus was well known in the
early days here. A daughter, Maude was married
to William Smith, Jr., a son of W. B. Smith. He was
very active in the Congregational Church work.
Like many of the families who once lived here,
the Caughey family is no longer here. A daughter
Lilly was married to Charles Hoppler. There were
two brothers, John and Sam, and their home was
the present home of Ira Searl.
G. M. Clarke
G. M. (Matt) Clarke was born on a farm near
Van Grin, 111., in 1851, and was married to Laura
Ann Bryant, who also was born near there. They
came to DePue in 1899, and lived where AUie Dilts
now lives. Their daughter, Mrs. Clyde Rhyne
(Mayme) and son Leonard Clarke still live here.
Joseph H. Croisant
Joseph H. Croisant was born in Munich, Germany,
in 1845, and came to Selby Township in 1847. He
worked in the mines and served the town as police
magistrate. He was deputy sheriff for two years.
He was the father of Charles, Henry, Philip, Kate
and Minnie. His home was where Paul Van Cleave
W. B. Curry
W. B. Curry was born at Woodhull, in 1871,
and came to DePue in 1895. His barber shop stood
where Morse Bryant's store is now. He was married
to Minnie Feltes, and they lived in a house next
to Piascyk's home, known as the Winkler house.
There were no children.
George Beyer, Businessman and
Town Marshal in 1 885
Harry Dart was born at Wyanet, and came to
DePue in 1894, after learning telegraphy. He had
charge of the Three I and Rock Island railway busi-
ness. He married Amelia Heitz, daughter of Sam
Heitz, and their first home stood next to the Philip
66 Oil Station.
B. F. Ellis
B. F. Ellis came to DePue after serving in the
Civil War. His children were George, Lee, Ida, Ella,
and Frances. He worked on the railroad and as
school janitor. Ella and Frances survive. DePue
descendants are members of the George Ellis fam-
ily, John, Leslie, Bill, and Mary; Ruth, Marvin, Lucy,
and the Rev. Percy Ellis live elsewhere. George
married Lou Belle Giesey, now 78 years old.
F. A. Fowler
Frank Fowler was born at Henry in 1877. He
moved to DePue in 1885, where he conducted a fish
business with his father, J. B. Fowler. Kis wife was
Ada Harrison, daughter of William Harrison. He
served on the Village Board in 1904, and was later
mayor. Mrs. Adolph Ristau is the only member of
the family living in DePue.
John B. Feltes
John B. Feltes came from Hennepin, and ran
the store that had been run by Bernhard and Orthel.
He later ran a grocery store across from Muzzarel-
li's and after selling out, went to work for Frey
Brothers. After many years of bachelorhood he
married Charity Dunterman, an aunt of Ben and
Selby Dunterman. Their home was the farm re-
cently sold by "Bismarck" Baumer.
John Frey, son of Bernhard Frey, was born at
Oberschefflens, Germany, Sept., 1883, and after a
short time in Philadelphia, came with his family
to DePue in 1855. He was the village shoemaker
and his store stood on the present site of Lisetta
Prey's home. He married Christine Franks from
Chicago. He served in the Civil War from DePue
and v/as v\^ith General Sherman on his march from
Atlanta to the sea. He served as president of the
Village Board in 1867. The Huber family and the
Banschbachs came from the same town in Ger-
many. The only member of the Frey family still
in DePue is Mrs. Harold Godfrey, daughter of
Frank Frey, the oldest son of John Frey was born
in DePue in 1865. He finished business college at
Bryant & Stratton's in Detroit, and was a bookkeep-
er for Brunswick-Balke-Collendar Co. there. He re-
turned to DePue in 1886 and started a general mer-
chandise store with his brother Albert.
This was where the recreation center now is.
He served as agent for the M.P.Z. Co. in the pur-
chase of the land where their plant now stands.
He was postmaster for 8 years, president of the
DePue State Bank, and was pay master at the Zinc
In 1917, he sold out the store business which
had expanded to include the building now oc-
cupied by the bowling alley, to Guy Jensen, and
went as general manager of a wholesale grocery
firm in Peoria. He was seated in his office there
when he died of a heart attack in 1923. His wife
was Emily Griffith of What Cheer, Iowa, and their
home was the present home of Mrs. Mary Dobrich.
Albert Frey was the second son of John Frey, born
in 1867, and married Grace Hurless, daughter of
Rev. Parker Hurless. He was in business with his
brother, Frank for many years but due to poor
health sold out to Frank in 1910. He was county
supervisor from Selby Township for many years.
His home was the present home of Warren Crois-
Martin Frey was the youngest son of John Frey
and made his home with the only sister, Lisetta
Frey. When he was 8 years old he developed os-
teomyelitis and finally amputation of a leg was
necessary. In spite of his handicap he helped out
in the Frey Store and later Anderson's, and was
a member of the DePue Band. He never married.
Geiler, Peter C.
Peter C. Geiler ran a blacksmith shop where
the playground east of the gymnasium now is. He
was a native of Denmark. His sons, Christ and
Henry lived here for many years, and a daughter,
Sophie was married to a Mr. Hammond, and died
at an early age.
Louis Gethold's name appears in the records
of the town council meetings but little is known of
him. He came here from Canada, and was a ne-
phew of Mrs. Eli Metevia.
Charles Gewelke came to this country from
Germany when a mere lad. He was married to
Minnie Caroline Gewelke. Their home stood behind
the house now occupied by their daughter, Mrs.
Emma Peters, and son Fritz Gewelke.
The Giesey home was at the top of the old
Giesey hill. Later they moved to the village. Wil-
liam was a clerk for the Lemp Brewing Co. and
never married. He served on the town board. John
lived in a house across the street from the Barto
Funeral Home, and is the father of Mrs. George
Ellis, Mrs. Giesey was Lucy Fox, a cousin of Moses
Gurnett, John, Sr.
One of the early settlers in what is now DePue
was John Gurnett, Sr. Mrs. Gurnett was Bridget
Curran and both she and her husband were born
in Ireland. Their home was where the Jesse Sad-
nicks now live. Of the eight children born to them,
John, Jr. (Jack) is the only one who lives here now.
Jack Gurnett was born here in 1877 and is married
to Lottie Smith, a daughter of Paul Smith. He was
employed for years in the office of the Zinc Co.
George Glover was born near Princeton, but
when a small boy, moved to Seatonville. In 1898,
he had charge of the Coal Company's meat mar-
ket at Marquette. Later he had his own market
at DePue. He was married in 1898 to Barbara Zim-
merman, daughter of Henry Zimmerman. His chil-
dren still living here are Glen, Thomas, Nola and
Goering, George Jacob Sr.
George Jacob Goering Sr. was born in Ger-
many, in 1821, and came to the United States in
1864. His son, George, Jr., was born in 1852 and
was married to Julia Hartig. Their farm home stood
east of Laicoff's store. A slaughter house for their
meat market in the village was quite a bit farther
His son was John H. Goering, who was asso-
ciated with Beyer & Co. and later Mr. Feltes sold
his store to Mr. Goering. Later he ran the saloon
run by J. B. Fowler, where the Zinc Co. Club House
now stands. His first wife was Mayme Beyer,
daughter of George Beyer. After her death he mar-
ried Sophia Kendzierski. He was connected with
the C. R. I. & P. Ry., for quite a few years and later
went into the real estate business which he con-
ducted in LaSalle until his death.
George Goering was a brother of John Goering,
and for many years ran the meat market where
the shoe repair shop now is. He was married to
Elizabeth McKinstry, a sister of Robert McKinstry.
She was born in DePue in 1877. Their home was
moved to its present site, the Congregational
church parsonage. Mrs. William Krueger, a daugh-
ter, still resides here.
Ernest Guenther, a native of Germany was
married in Germany to Kathryn Boos, and came
to the United States in 1880, and to DePue in 1882.
In 1893, he purchased the store and building of
Edward Tinley, where Steele and Bryant now hold
forth. He was a town clerk of Selby Township. Of
his eight children, Mrs. August Bansch, widow of
Charles Croisant, is the only one still living here.
After selling out his store, the family home was
established where Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Salavanski
Fred Hahn's family, like so many former vil-
lagers cannot be traced. It is known the saloon
that stood across from the Club House was run by
him. for many years. Their home was where Mr.
and Mrs. Glenn Glover now live. He was married
to a sister of Mrs. Stuber, Lindenmeyer by name,
coming to Peru from Germany, where he was born
William Harrison was born in Derbyshire,
England, and came to the U.S. in 1882. He owned
the Adam Grieg farm only one year when he sold
to the Zinc Co. doubling his money. Later they
moved to Missouri. Mrs. Clara Talbot, a daughter,
still lives in DePue.
Sam Heitz came from Germany. His wife was
Barbara, a sister of Theobold Heitz, who came to
the U.S. in 1847, and resided on a 300 acre farm
in Selby Township. He served as Village Clerk
in 1867, and later was police magistrate. Their
home was across from the drug store in early days.
Harry and Ed Heitz, grandsons, are the only mem-
bers of his family living in DePue today.
John Helmer was born in 1840, and was a Civil
War veteran from the State of Ohio. His first wife
was Hattie Barton. His second wife was Ida May
Vose. J. P. "Pod" Helmer, Mrs. Arthur Reistad,
and Mrs. Irva Holstrom are the children of this sec-
He served DePue as constable. Their son, Sid-
ney Helmer, born in 1870, married Alfaretta Helmer,
daughter of Arthur Walker. Mrs. Helmer was born
at Manlius in 1877, and came to DePue when a
little girl. She and her daughter, Odessa, still live
in DePue. In the early 1900's there was a mine
sunk near Princeton, and Mr. Helmer won the prize
for naming it "Push and Go."
George Hoppler was born at Byron, Germany,
in 1846, the son of John and Barbara Hoppler who
came to the U.S. in 1848 from Germany. He en-
listed for service in the Civil War when 17 years
of age. At the close of the war he went to St. Louis,
finally came back to Princeton, and then DePue
where he ran a boarding house for six years. He
returned to the farm and remained there. His wife
was Philopena Werner. Mrs. Glen Sticken, a grand-
daughter, lives in DePue.
Hoppler, George Sr.
George Hoppler Sr. was born in Germany in
1834. He was married to Phillipena Croisant, born
in 1834, and lived in a house that stood across
from the DePue State Bank. Many of the houses,
and the calaboose which stood across from the
City Hall, were built by him. Kenneth Monnett, son
of Elvina Hoppler Monnett, still lives here.
Nicholas Hoffert was born in Alsace-Lorraine,
Germany, in 1863 and came to America in 1882,
and to DePue in 1895. He was married to Katherine
Stuber, a member of a pioneer Bureau Co. family,
born in 1871. Fred, Nicholas, Jr, and Roy, sons,
live in DePue.
George Hosier came here from Indiana before
the Civil War. His wife was Elizabeth Dogget. He
was a Civil War veteran and served on the town
board. His daughter, Melissa Jane, was married
to Benjamin Newell Dunterman.
Huber, Ulrich, Sr.
Ulrich Huber, Sr., a carpenter by trade, came
to DePue from Germany in the early 1850s and
was employed in laying tracks for the C. R. I. & P.
Railroad. He married Barbara Wentler, and they
were the parents of Ulrich Jr., Johanna (Mrs. Paul
J. Smith) Simon and Henry Huber. Their eldest son
Ulrich, Jr., was born in 1858 and resided in DePue
until his death in 1948. At the age of five he was
stricken with scarlet fever and blinded. He was a
familiar figure about town for many years, and
undoubtedly had the distinction of being the citi-
zen with the longest residence in DePue.
He was away from DePue only during the time
he attended the Illinois State School for the Blind
at Jacksonville, 111., where he learned Braille. Jo-
hanna was married to Paul Smith. Simon and
Henry never married. Simon was active in early
Charles Hulsen came to DePue from Germany
when seven years of age. He worked at the coal
mine and was city clerk at one time. He was mar-
ried in 1900 to Ella Flick.
Lloyd Hurless was born at Savanna, 111., 1875
and came to DePue in 1889. He was married to Ella
Brant of Pike County. From 1893 to 1899 he lived
at Summer Hill, and then returned to DePue. He
served the town as city clerk, alderman, police
magistrate and worked in the post office. He makes
his home with his daughter, Mrs. Grace Jackson.
Jackson, S. W.
The name of S. W. Jackson appears in village
records in 1867. He was proprietor of a store. His
son, Summerfield, married Emma Hosier, daughter
of George Hosier.
The Kellog family lived in the home where
Angel Suarez now lives. Mrs. Kellogg did the vill-
age sewing. A son, Ollie, was drowned in the river
at Cairo, 111. A daughter, Rene (Mrs. Wm. Goering)
taught in the school here. Her daughter, Mrs. Jo-
seph Carey still lives in Seatonville.
Oliver Keim was born in 1860, and came to
this area from Summerset County, Pa., in the late
1880s. He worked as a farm hand on the Mason
farm. He married Martha Mason and lived in Mar-
quette where he operated a saw mill producing
props for the mine. The family moved to DePue
in 1900. Mr. Keim became a landowner, farmer
and timberman. The Keim home was always open
for any church activities. Mrs. Delia Walsh, a
daughter, and her family live in DePue. A son, the
late David Keim, served on the town board in
1917, 1921 and 1923.
Adam Krieg was born in Germany and came
to DePue about 1850. He owned the farm where
the east end of the Plant is now. It was on a visit
to Mrs. Krieg that Christine Franks met John Frey
whom she later married.
Fred Krueger was born in Germany in 1856,
and came to DePue in 1882. He became section
foreman for the railroad in 1885 and was with the
Rock Island until he retired. He married Amelia
Schwank, and their children, Mrs. Martin Toovey
(Emma) Fred, Jr., and William still reside here.
George Lamb was born in 1880 at Leaven-
worth, Kansas and came to DePue in 1898. His
wife was Catherine Cahill of Sheffield. Mrs. Ernest
Marliere (Viola) is the only one of the children
still living here.
Bartholemew Litchfield was born in England.
In 1871, 1872, and 1874, he served as village trustee
and in 1891 was village lamp lighter. He served
faithfully the Congregational church for many
years. A daughter, Edna, was Mrs. Ray Gore. Mrs.
Cecil Crocker was another. Their home stood south
of the present Donald Bosnich home.
Andrew Lusinger was born in 1842 in Switzer-
land and came with his parents to Rensselaer
County, New York. At the breaking out of the Civil
War he was living in Wisconsin and joined the
infantry there. After the war, he ran a meat mar-
ket on the corner of Lake and Second streets, in
DePue. His wife was Carrie Nisley.
Jacob Lusinger was born at Glarus, Switzer-
land in 1844. He came with his parents to the
United States in 1851 to Troy, N.Y. In 1857, the fam-
ily moved to LaSalle, in 1858 to Ottsville and then
to DePue. He was a Civil War veteran. After 'he
war he ran a blacksmith shop across from the home
of Mrs. Allie Diltz. Mrs. Viola Isaacson and Miss
Angeline Lusinger, his two daughters, still live
here. His first wife was Minerva Morseman. After
her death he married Ermina Smith, whose family
lived at Indiantown. He served the town as presi-
dent of the board.
Ursula Lusinger, grandmother of
Mrs. Viola Isaacson and Angie
Nicholas Lusinger, grandfather of
Mrs. Viola Isaacson and Angle
Nicholas Lusinger, the father of Andrew and
Jacob Lusinger, was born in 1815 and brought his
family to this country in 1851. His home was where
the Peter Miscevic family now reside.
John and Christine Lindquist came from Swed-
en to Princeton in 1881, and to DePue in 1883. They
lived in the house moved back from where the
Tyrer house now stands. After four years they
purchased a home where George Barnes, Sr., now
lives. John, Jr., a son, still lives here and his sister,
Olive Lindquist Berglund, lives with him.
Stephen Nawa was born at Schlesien, in 1857,
and came to America in 1882. He served three
years in the German army. Before coming to
America, he married Elizabeth Kalthoff in 1860, a
sister of Mrs. Bernard Yocks. He served the village
as alderman and was a check-weigher at the
mines. A son, Benjamin, lives on a farm east of
Marliere, Frank, Sr.
Frank Marliere Sr. was born in France in 1853,
and came to America about 1880. He came to De-
Pue in 1886. His first wife was Stephanie Muller.
After her death he married Mrs. Julia DePoru, who
still lives here. Ernest, a son of the first wife, is the
only child still living here.
Frank Mecum, born in 1865, was a son of Jo-
seph Mecum who came here before the Civil War,
from Ohio. His wife was Mary Schmaus. His mo-
ther came from Germany with the Rick and LeBahn
families. Robert and Alpha still reside here in the
Eli Metevia, a French-Canadian, lived in the
house just south of Gardner Mills. Little is known
of them, but many old villagers remember John
(Doc) and Miles (Miley), their two sons.
Jacob Miller was known for his wine farm, lo-
cated where George Barnes, Jr., now lives. He
served the town council in 1884.
grandfather of Kenneth Monnett
Louis Monnett was the father of Charles Mon-
nett, and grand-father of Kenneth Monnett. He
served the town board in 1891. Charles was bom
in Peru and later lived at Bureau, where Kenneth
was born in 1896. He was married to Elvene Hop-
pler, daughter of George Hoppler Sr. Kenneth still
lives here with his daughter, Mrs. Henry Benkse.
George Meyer was born at Seatonville, in 1870,
and came to DePue in 1882. He was foreman at the
Three I bridge from 1899 and overseer of the pump-
ing station. His wife was Selina Tucker, daughter
of J. Tucker. Their home was the second house
south of Ira Searl's home.
McKinstry, W. J.
W. J. McKinstry was born in North Belfast,
Ireland in 1825, and his wife, Frances Weir, in
South Belfast. He came from Ireland in 1846, to
Peru, and about 1876, moved to DePue. In the town
records it is reported he had the job of graveling
the village walks in 1879. His son, Robert, was
born in 1880 and in his later years was custodian
at the public school.
In 1891, after a seige of scarlet fever, Robert lost
his speech and went to Jacksonville, 111., where he
learned the manual alphabet. He was married
to Nellie McCormick, who was born in 1884 in St.
Joseph, Mo. They met at the school in Jacksonville.
A daughter, Mrs. Melvin Woolley and a son John,
still reside here. Their home was a farm one-fourth
mile west along the Rock Island.
Paden, Robert D.
Robert D. Paden was born in Nova Scotia in
1843 and came to the U.S. in 1846. He came to
DePue in 1885 and worked in the mine. At the out-
break of the Civil War he enlisted in a regiment
from Pennsylvania which served in many of the
big battles of the war. His wife was Mary Jones
of Branchville, Pa. In 1888, when the Jacob Bern-
hardts moved to Nebraska, the Padens moved to
"The Green House" where they operated a hotel.
He served the town many ways and was president
of the school board. The only surviving member
of his large family now living in DePue, is Robert
E. Moran, son of a daughter Martha.
Charles Pope, son of Mrs. W. J. Pope, was born
about 1875 in DePue, and lived his entire life here.
His wife was Katie Guenther, daughter of Ernest
Guenther. He served the village as town clerk for
a good many years. His mother was born in 1837,
Onandaga County, N.Y., and came to DePue in
1868. Mr. Pope was a United Brethern minister.
A son Frank, was town clerk in 1884. Mr. Pope was
a street commissioner in 1874. Mrs. B. F. Ellis was
Frank Powers was born at Perrysburg, Ohio
in 1857, and came to Lockport, 111., when 16 years
of age. He came to DePue in 1886, where he en-
gaged in fishing. Later he conducted an ice busi-
ness, with large ice houses filled from the lake.
He served the village as a councilman and was
president of the school board. Mrs. Powers was
Fannie Jane Harris. His son Edward, and a daugh-
ter, Mrs. Herman Graham, still reside in DePue.
John Seeburger was born in Baden, Germany,
about 1840. He arrived in the U.S. and in DePue
in 1873, with John and Katrina, and his wife, who
was Jacobina Himmel. He served as constable and
was a lamp lighter for the village. His first work
here was terracing the Link farm (now owned by
Aldo Biagioni) for raising grapes. Their home was
where Stanley Piascyk now lives.
Charles Savage came first to Hennepin, in 1831,
and in 1836 settled on the B. N. Dunterman farm
near Hollawayville. He owned around 300 acres
bluff and valley farmland, 200 acres of this was
sold to the M.P.Z. Co. He was famous as auction-
eer, and his outstanding sale was $40,000 of Hall
property sold in fifteen minutes.
He was married to Henrietta Young, whose
family came to Selby Township in 1842. After sell-
ing their land here they moved to a farm near
Princeton. A granddaughter, Mrs. Lottie Marple
Chase, her sons, Harry, John and Edward, and a
granddaughter, Mrs. George Turner, still reside
here. Also George Barnes, Jr., son of Kate Savage
Thomas Shaw was of English descent and
served the town board in 1881. His son John, or
"Poppy" was the last survivor of the family here.
Smith, Frank, Sr.
Frank Smith was a brother of Paul, and lived
on a farm where White City begins. His wife was
Mary Nisley, daughter of Samuel Nisley, whose
home was across from the Park. Glen Smith, a
grandson, is the only member of the family here.
Paul J. Smith was born in LaSalle County in
1854, and grew up near DePue on his father's farm.
His wife was Johanna Huber, born in 1860, in De-
Pue. He was supervisor of Selby Township for at
least thirty years, and served on the school board
many years. Mrs. John Gurnett (Lottie) and Wil-
liam, Adelaide, Mrs. Nelle Kelly and Mrs. Grace
McClure, still live here. A son, Henry, lives in
Smith, W. B.
W. B. Smith lived where Nola and Raymond
Glover now reside. Mrs. Smith was Louisa Wil-
liams, a sister of Mrs. Worman. She was a devoted
member of the Congregational church, and was a
person who could be called on in all emergencies.
They are well known by their children. Alma Lar-
ens who taught in the schools here, and George
O. Smith, County Superintendent of Schools and
later Princeton City schools. A daughter, Nora
O'Byrne, was also a teacher and lived here until
her death four years ago.
William Sullivan was born in Ireland and came
to Illinois when a mere boy. He entered the service
of the C. R. I. & P railroad in 1878 and came to
DePue in 1882 as section foreman. He served on
the town board in 1904. The Sullivan home stood
between the railroad depot and the main gate of
the Zinc Co. and was later moved to its present
site. Two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine, a
son Timothy reside here.
Sutcliffe, C. E.
C. E. Sutcliffe was born in Hennepin in 1868,
and came to DePue in the late '90s. He was the
proprietor of a butcher shop.
John Strickmaker was born in Wichita, Kansas
in 1872 and came to DePue in 1878. In 1880, the
family returned to Kansas but came back to DePue
in 1890. The family home stood where Ray Gore's
home is now. He was employed in later years at
the river bridge. He never married. He had two
brothers, Frank and Joe, who lived in the family
Sweeley, Captain Warren
Captain Warren Sweeley came to DePue in
1886 and was married to a member of the Sted-
man family. He served on the village board in
different capacities for many years. The family
lived where Ernest Marliere lives now.
Julius Throne lived "up the track" from the
East Crossing. A son, Otto, married the daughter
of Henry Stange, and she was the granddaughter
of Bart Litchfield. Mr. Throne was drowned in the
Joseph Thiers, was born in France, a relative of
an ex-president Thiers of France. He came to De-
Pue in 1885, and was married to the widow of Ja-
cob Wolter. Her son, Peter Wolter, was born in
Peru in 1863, and came to DePue when 18 years
of age. He and his brother, John, were carpenter
contractors. The Thiers' farm ■was west of where
George Barnes, Sr., now lives.
Edward Tinley, was a well-known business
man for nearly 50 years. A native of Southwall,
England, he was born in 1833, and came to this
country with his father and mother in 1848, to
In 1855, the family moved to what is now
known as Tinley Park, Illinois. In 1854, he entered
the employ of the railroad as assistant to his fa-
ther at the station. In 1856, he came to DePue as
station agent. His wife was Dorcas Kittell of Men-
dota. They had no children but raised several
nieces and nephews. His duties at the railroad did
not engage his entire time and he bought and
shipped grain, and was in partnership with Jacob
Bernhardt and J. H. Hassler. Due to poor health,
he sold his business interests in DePue in 1895.
Mr. and Mrs. Tinley traveled extensively in
Europe from 1876 on. He returned to Chicago in
1898, after an extended trip in Canada and lived
at the Plaza Hotel in Chicago, where he passed
crway in 1903. He was cremated according to his
wishes and the ashes were conveyed to Princeton.
He served the tov\^n board in many different cap-
acities and was very active in the Congregational
Church here, being choir director for many years.
J. Tucker was born in England in 1833, and came
to the U.S. in 1866, locating near Pittsburgh, Pa.
After a trip back to England, he returned to DePue
in 1885. His home was located on a street where
the main gate of the Plant is now, about the third
house from it. His oldest daughter was married
to Aaron Symmonds.
Harry Tucker was born in England in 1854, and
came to the U.S. in 1881, locating near Blooming-
ton, 111. He came to DePue in 1886. His wife, whom
he married in 1895, was Mrs. Betsy Savage.
Arthur Walker came first to the Ridge from
Indiana. In the late '90s he moved to DePue. He
was married to Ella McCune, whose family were
early settlers in Bureau county. Mrs. Sid Helmer,
a daughter, and two sons, Leo and Elmo, live here.
Mike White came to DePue in 1847, and settled
near the village. He served in the Civil War, and
wound up in Andersonville Prison. He was laid
out with the dead but was saved by a considerate
Confederate soldier. Scarcely able to walk or move,
he finally got home to DePue, weighing only 68
Clem Wolff, born in 1866 in Germany, came
to DePue in 1882. His sister was Mrs. Bernard
Yocks, and Mrs. James Lawless is his niece. He
was an expert painter and decorator. Mr. Wolff
Worman, W. B.
W. B. Worman was born in Germany and was
a pioneer grape grower on the hills west of DePue.
His home was where Mr. and Mrs. Leo Utterback
Bernard Yocks, was born in Wastphalia, Ger-
many in 1853, and came to the U.S. in 1881, going
to Braidwood first. He came to DePue a few months
later. He was married to Marie Kalthoff, a sister
of Mrs. Stephen Nawa. He was village constable
and lamplighter, after years at the mine. His
daughter, Mrs. James Lawless, lives here.
John Younker, a nephew of Warren Sweeley,
came to DePue from Prince Edward Island, when
20 years old. His wife, Margaret McKinstry, a
daughter of W. J. McKinstry, was born at Peru,
Illinois in 1868. Their home was about one-fourth
mile west of DePue near the Rock Island tracks.
The former Carrie Younker Helmer was their young-
Henry Zimmerman was born at Scranton, Pa.,
Oct. 23, 1840. In 1888, they moved to DePue from
Morris where Barbara (Mrs. George Glover) was
born in 1878. He was married to Catherine Paden,
a sister of Robert D. Paden, at Pottsville, Pa. Glen,
Raymond, Thomas and Nolo, Glover and Albert
Sanger, grandchildren, and Anita Sanger Hay-
wood, live here.
The following is a list of names taken from
town council proceedings starting in 1867, and no
further trace of them can be found:
J. Hassler — 1869-70 Mayor
A. Stiefel — father of Mrs. August Bansch, Sr.
Moses Fox — wife of Diantha Solomon
Charles Hilliard — 1875
Aaron Symmonds — wife was daughter of
W. M. Young — 1871
H. G. Young — clerk 1870
E. C. Wilson — pound master 1871.
H. Barber — village board 1 87 1
W. H. Hill — village clerk 1873
Amos Tuttle — Pound Master 1873
C. Druher — Judge of Election 1873
D. Myers — council 1874
Adolph Dunterman — town council, married to
Caroline, sister of John Frey
John M. Orthel — clerk, 1874, in business with
W. Hoskins — a Judge and personal friend
of Abraham Lincoln.
Philip Hassler — 1877
Jacob Schmidt — 1877
Sam and John Caughey — 1877
John A. Reed — Constable 1877
Edward Haven — Constable
D. W. Lindsay — 1878
Pat Curran — cousin of John Gurnett
Thomas Dowling — street commissioner and
George O. Wheeler — village clerk.
W. B. Worman — 1883
James Casford — 1883. His wife was Elizabeth
Jessie Tying — a teacher
D. Griffin — a teacher
S. G. Hicks — 1869
Searl's Ridge Families
There has always existed a close relationship
between the DePue and Searl's Ridge people. The
histories interlace to the extent that one would be
incomplete without the other. These are early fam-
William Bohm was born in Germany in 1856,
the son of John and Mary Wolf Bohm. He married
Christina Edlefson. They had 11 children; three
died in infancy. Those living are Edward, John,
William, Emma, Arthur, Carl, Jennie, and Lester.
Mr. Bohm started out in life empty-handed and
grew to be a prosperous farmer.
John Clark married Jane Bailee in 1829 and
came to Searl's Ridge in 1830 on horseback in com-
pany with Judge William Hoskins and party of 17.
In 1831, they entered a claim at Lake DePue. In
1832 when the Black Hawk war broke out they
were forced to move to Fort Wilson, six miles east
They saw the first steam boat to land at DePue,
then called Clark's Landing. They moved to the
Ridge in 1844. Mr. Clark died in 1848. They had
7 children. Mrs. Clark married William Charles in
1855. John and Robert Clark came with their fam-
ily from Kentucky and settled at Clark's Landing
(DePue). They received land from the government
in 1830. They later sold it to Ben Newell and moved
to the Ridge. John married Harriet Reynolds.
They had 6 children; a son Ben married Cordil-
ia Searl and became parents of Bessie, Alvah,
Harve, and Bert. Alvah and wife Edythe Randall
who still resides on the Ridge had 7 children. Dale,
Ronald, and Zelah are deceased; other children ore
Ruth Burkman, Dorene Jones and Maurice. Their
daughter, Berniece Bryant and family reside on
the Ridge. John, another son of John and Marriet
Clark, had 6 children. His dcmghter Emma married
Ed Meyer. Mrs. Ben Dunterman is their daughter.
John Hassler was born in Zurich, Switzerland
in 1764. He married Christina C. Rossig and came
to America in 1834, landing in New Orleans, then
came up the Mississippi to Hennepin. They pur-
chased a claim of 1,800 acres of land from John
Hall in Selby Township.
It was due to their influence that many Ger-
man families settled in Hollowayville. They had
7 children — John, Rudolph, Henry, Charles, Her-
man, Charlotte, and Jacob. Mr. Hassler only lived
two years after coming to America.
Anton Herzog was born in Germany in 1844.
He came to America in 1867. He married Annie
Rouh. They had four children — William, Joseph,
Elizabeth who married Philip Link, and John who
married Rosa Frey. Clarence Herzog and family
DePue, and Clarice Link, Peru, are descendants of
the John and Rosa Herzog family.
William Hoskins came to the Ridge in 1831
from Kentucky. He married Rebecca Kellums. They
had six children. Abraham Lincoln spent a night
in the Hoskins home after speaking in Princeton
on July 4, 1856. The Hoskins were the great grand-
parents of Mrs. Pearl Mavity Archer of DePue. Hos-
kins was the first Bureau County Judge.
John Lange and Helene Krueger Lange and
two children — Charles and Fredereca — came to
Chicago from Micklenburg, Germany. After exper-
iencing the Chicago fire, they moved to Searl's
Ridge to farm. They had 12 children — Herman,
Louis, Mennie, Albert, and Fred died during a diph-
theria epidemic; others were Henry, William, Anna
Adolph, and Frank, the only living child. Miss
Jessie Lange of DePue and sister Alta Frances ore
daughters of the Charles and Elizabeth Schmaus
Jacob Link was born in Rhine, Germany in
1843 and came to America in 1864 to Peru, 111. He
worked as a farm hand. He married Philopina Doll.
In 1881 he purchased a farm in Selby Township.
Their children were Elizabeth, Katie, Jacob, Philip,
Mary George, and Lucy. Philip married Elizabeth
Herzog and farmed in Selby Township many years.
He served as road commissioner. Their daughters.
Mrs. Luella Wolfer and Mrs. Violet Wolf ore Bur-
eau County farmers.
David Marple was born in Bureau county —
no date was available. He fought in the Civil War
in Virginia. He married Isabell Fox. They had 12
children — Richard, Harry, Rosie, Ella, Dan, Mary,
Dwight, Lucy, Nora, Minnie, John, and Rosie Marie.
Mike Marple, son of Dan, and John, Harry, and Ed-
ward, sons of John, reside in DePue.
McWilliams, J. F.
J. F. McWilliams was born in Ohio in 1843 and
came to Illinois at the age of 15 with his parents,
William F. and Mary (Van Wy). He served as
township supervisor, assessor, and collector. He
married Mary Miller. They had 3 children — Char-
les D., Bertha, and William. He was one of the
most highly esteemed residents of this community.
Stephen Nawa was born in Schlesien, Ger-
many in 1857. He had an advanced education
there. He married Elizabeth Kalthoff and came to
America in 1882. They resided for some years in
DePue. He was a coal miner for four years. He
rented a farm from Charles Savage; then pur-
chased his own farm. Ten children were born to
Mr. and Mrs. Nawa, namely, Matilda, William,
Frank, Ben, Fred, Emma, Annie, Mary, John, and
F'reda. He served as alderman at DePue. They
were members of the Toilers. Mrs. William Nawa,
(Laura Petersen) resides in DePue.
Joseph Rauh was born in Bavaria, Germany in
1826. He married Elizabeth Young and came to
America in 1851 landing in New Orleans; then he
came up the Mississippi to St. Louis and later to
Peru. He began to farm and in 1863 was able to
purchase 160 acres on the Ridge. They had 8
children — William, Joseph, Anna, Andrew, Eliza-
beth, Philopena, Valentine, and John. Mr. Rauh
married Mrs. Louisa Rakor Cogler in 1881. They
had one son, Henry.
Rick, J. C.
J. C. Rick was born in Selby Township in 1873,
the son of Charles and Emma Lebahn Rick who
came to America in 1869. He farmed 144 acres be-
tween DePue and HoUowayville. He married Kate
Link. They had 3 children — Laura, Clarence, and
Florence. They were members of the German Luth-
Timothy Rhyne was born in Bureau county in
1857. He was the son of John and Russina Seorl
Rhyne. He owned and formed 327 acres of im-
proved land and engaged in stock raising. He mar-
ried Lillie B. Smith in 1879. They had 8 children —
Lillian, Myrtle, Gertrude, Charles, Joseph, Darlene,
Hazel who resides in Bureau, Clyde and family
and Rhyne Ellis, a grandson and family in DePue.
He was road commissioner for 12 years. They were
Searl's Ridge first known as Hoskins Prairie
was part of Putnam county when the five Searl
brothers came to the Ridge to settle. They were
Brown, Job, John, Timothy, and David. David later
moved to Hennepin.
John S. Searl arrived in Bureau county in 1834.
He was the son of Brown and Barbara Ann Hosier
Searl. He had 3 brothers — Tim, Peter, William,
and a sister Melessa; all moved elsewhere. John
S. continued to live in Bureau county. He married
Amanda Miller. They had 10 children.
E. Grant Searl, son of John and Amanda, was
born in Selby Township on the old home place in
1868. He married Katie Heitz. They had 3 childred,
Ira, a resident of DePue, survives. E. Grant was
farmer, stock raiser, and served as road commis-
sioner in 1906.
Brown Searl farmed 640 acres on the Ridge,
secured from the government in 1836. He died in
1869 and his wife in 1892. Both are buried on the
Smith, W. R.
W. R. Smith was born in Ohio in 1829 and was
the son of Isaac and Lucinda Hartley Smith. He
came to Bureau county in 1852. He moved away
but came back in 1860. He married Susan Hart-
zell. They had 10 children. Alonzo and John oper-
ated the home farm with sister Linnie. They raised
Norman horses, Angus cattle, and a race horse
called "Cyclone." They were Congregationalists.
Their other children were Melissa, Viola, Lilly B.,
Mary L., John, Nora, and Edith.
William and Catherine Lindenmier Stuber set-
tled in this area over 75 years ago. Mr. Stuber came
from Edenkoben, Germany at the age of 14 in
1854. Mrs. Stuber was born in Peru. She was a
practical nurse, (Midwife) and will be remembered
by many old settlers. They had 4 children — Cath-
erine and Elizabeth are deceased; Fred and wife
live on the homeplace, and Emma. Mrs. Oscar Col-
lier, a granddaughter, lives on the Ridge.
Michael White was born in Munich, Germany
in 1834. He married Elizabeth Sa Lee who was
reared on the Ridge. "Mike" White was a Civil
War Veteran and was imprisoned at Andersonviiie
for quite a spell. Their children were William,
George, Belle, Mary, and Tiberias (Bidge).
Searl's Ridge School
About 100 years ago the first known school
building was a log cabin just east of the cemetery.
W. R. Searl and Lucinda Hoskins were students.
The informant couldn't recall other names.
About 15 years later a frame building was
erected south of the present site. The rocks used
as corner stones can still be seen. In 1875, the larg-
er building was built and Jeff Daves was the teach-
er. There were about 60 pupils.
According to records of County Supt. of
Schools, Floyd French, 23 teachers had taught the
Ridge School. Among them were Jessie Lange,
Berniece Clark Bryant, and Grace Stuber.
The school was closed in 1947 when the dis-
trict combined with the Bureau school. Many of the
Ridge students attended DePue high school.
Searl's Ridge Church and Cemetery
The Seorl family donated a plot of ground for
the cemetery and adjoining land was purchased
by the community. Searl's Ridge church was built
in 1876. Many pioneers of this area, and Civil War
veterans are buried on the Ridge, as it was the
Searl's Ridge Ladies Aid was formed in 1914,
and aided by the men kept the cemetery and
church in readiness.
In recent years it has been taken over by the
Ridge Cemetery Association of Selby Township ap-
pointed by the State. Trustees are M. Hassler,
president; C. Wagner, vice-president; M. Clark,
treasurer; Mrs. Oscar Collier, secretary; C. McCue,
O. Collier, and Jim Marple.
The first church was Methodist Episcopal called
Ridge Chapel. It later became Congregational with
Rev. Porker Hurless, pastor. W. Smith and son John
were Sunday school superintendents.
The church building has been taken over by
a newly formed organization called The Hiltoppers.
It will be remodeled into a social center.
Sources oi Material Used in This
History of Searl's Ridge
1. Biographical History of Bureau, Marshall,
and Putnam counties, published by S. J. Clarke
Publishing Company, 1896.
2. Bureau County Directory. J. C. Kelly and
Company, Compilers and Publishers, 1897-98. Mrs.
James Williams, Bureau, Illinois.
3. Bureau County Republican. Centennial Ed-
4. Mrs. Oscar Collier, Princton, Illinois.
5. Daily News Tribune.
6. History of Bureau County, 1885. H. C. Brad-
sby, by World Pub. Co.
7. Marian Lange and Jessie Lange.
8. Past and Present of Bureau county, George
Garrington, published by Pioneer Publishing Com-
9. Mrs. Madge Pierce Podobinski.
Compiled by Berneice Clark Bryant. Typed by
Ruth Clark Burkman.
The lake, approximately five miles long and
three-fourths of a mile wide, was discovered by an
early French missionary in 1673. The first Christian
services in this area were held on its shore when
Father Marquette landed, erected a cross, and said
Mass. According to his journal "his party discov-
ered the beautiful lake which they named DePue,
and many Indians were camped nearby." It is
also said that the lake was named for an early
The purity of Lake DePue's water made the
town famous for its ice industry, carried on the
year around before the days of modern refrigera-
tion. Chief among consumers of DePue ice were
the W. L. Lemp Brewing Company and the An-
heuser Busch Brewery, of St. Louis.
The ice harvest furnished work all winter for
all residents of DePue, and neighboring farmers
with their horses. The breweries first erected an
ice house on the lake shore that held 60,000 tons
of ice and later built another to hold 40,000 tons.
The Lempe Co., had a boat yard (where the
playground is now) and an office. Docks were
built all along the lake front.
F. L. Powers & Co. Ice House near Lake DePue
The breweries owned a fleet of barges of 800
to 1400 tons capacity to transport the ice. The
barges were towed into Lake DePue before it froze.
A good winter would yield enough ice to fill the
barges and ice houses. One winter the ice lasted
long enough to cut ice for a pile of 30,000 tons. It
was packed in sawdust.
Twelve-year-old boys were paid 50 cents a day
to work in the ice channels in 22 degrees below
zero weather. Top wages were $1.75 a day for
packers in the ice houses and railroad cars. Today
the ice houses are gone.
Another early industry of DePue was commer-
cial fishing in Lake DePue and the Illinois river.
Fishermen's shanties lined the lake shore, and
boats, nets, seines, hoops, and trammels were fa-
miliar to DePue residents. Many old timers built
their own boats and kept them in repairs, and made
their own nets.
Fine fish sold for 5 to 7 cents a pound, and
coarse fish from 3 to 5 cents.
Old time fishermen included "Big Fish" Charles
Nelson, Andrew Lusinger, Frank Powers and sons,
George Hoppler and sons, the Strickmaker broth-
ers, the Shaws and Marlieres. Frank Powers made
the largest haul ever made at one time — 100,000
Art Reistad, a Power's employee, remembers
the big haul. He also remembers catching 25,000
pounds of buffalo fish at one haul, which were sold
on the Chicago market for 8 cents a pound. The
largest buffalo weighed 25 pounds, but earlier
settlers remember fish weighing 40 to 50 pounds.
Reistad recalls good clamming days in DePue
in 1910-11, when 10 carloads of clam shells were
shipped to Muscatine, Iowa, for buttons. The Illi-
nois River ranked second in the United States as a
fish-producer at one time. There is very little com-
mercial fishing now.
Lake DePue was, and is, a source of pleasure,
winter and summer, to local citizens and outsiders
who come for boating, ice skating, hunting and
fishing. Swimming is no longer enjoyed as the
water is quite muddy.
Show boats frequently came up the Mississip-
pi and Illinois Rivers to Lake DePue. Chief among
them were the "Cotton Blossom," "The Golden
Rod" and "French's Sensation." Boat excursions
were another river pleasure. "The Julia Belle," "The
David Swain" and others came to DePue regularly
for moonlight cruises and daytime trips to Peoria
and return. These boats featured a dance orches-
tra. There was bar, dining-room, and "lover's
For many years the lake has not been opened
to heavy traffic due to the "filling in" of silt. How-
ever, many pleasure crafts take advantage of the
lake during summer.
Outboard regattas are held here annually, by
the American Power Boat Association. Last year,
1960, was the tenth year that the Divisional Cham-
pionship races were held in DePue. This year, the
A, P. B. A. National Championship races will be
the feature attraction of the DePue Centennial cele-
bration in September.
Boat Races on July 4, 1914
• * *
Looking Toward DePue from Aldo Biagioni's Farm
^stip yti8ww"w'^ ' ''ywwwiippppi
Excursion Boat on Lake DePue — 1911
First Labor Day — 1914
Warehouse on Lake DePue — 1895
Labor Day Celebration - 1914 - Lake DePue Commercial Club
Lake DePue Park And Assembly
Lake DePue, in close proximity to the Illinois
River was a natural harbor or landing place for
boots carrying freight and merchandise, and plea-
sure boats. It was the center of attraction in the
hey-dey of the Lake DePue Park and Assembly.
It has long passed, but old residents can remember
that it was grand while it lasted.
This Bureau County summer resort was or-
ganized in 1903 by Rev. Anderson with J. Yerly
president, M. Elliott, secretary and D. H. Palmer
treasurer. It was located one-half mile east of De-
Pue in what is now known as the Park Addition.
A Chautauqua and amusement park, it boasted
an auditorium, also used as a dance pavilion,
which was the second largest in the state.
Audiences of 2,000 attended the meetings to
hear such speakers as Co. Henry Wcrtterson; Capt.
Richmond Hobson, the hero of the Merrimac; the
Rev. Sam Jones, the original Sam Jones, famous
orator and evangelist; Father I. J. Vaughn, and
Samuel Gompers, president of the American Fed-
eration of Laor. All were booked at the park with-
in a few months.
Other entertainment included the Chicago
Lyceum Ladies quarter, Dixie Jubilee Singers, By-
ron's Famous Minstrel and Glee Club.
The Chicago, Rock Island and Peoria trains
brought in many visitors, as did the Three-I trains
that came to DePue on a spur from the main line
at Howe. Steamboats, too, landed daily with Sun-
day school picnics, labor union meetings, lodge
outings and club parties.
In the park were cottages and tents for rent
and an up-to-date hotel with fine meals and ac-
commodations, including telephone, telegraph and
postal conveniences. There were rowbocrts, fishing
boats and electric launches to be rented by the
hour. Steamboat excursions took pleasure-seekers
around the lake for 10 cents. Launch rides were
the same price.
Steamers of the Illinois River Packet Co., made
daily trips from the park to the river towns of Henry,
Hennepin, Lacon, Chillicothe and Peoria. Boats
were of first class material, carpeted and cushioned.
No liquor or gambling were allowed in the
park, but entertainment was various and inexpen-
sive — toboggan slide, 10 cents; shooting gallery,
merry-go-round and ocean wave, 10 cents; diving
board, 10 cents an hour; bowling, 10 cents; base-
ball games, 25 cents; ping pong, 10 cents; tennis,
croquet, hammocks and swings, free.
The park had its own stables, and any demand
for carriages or saddle horses could be met.
The drives were charming, and Bureau County
boasted of her roads.
The park was noted for its baseball games.
The line-up of the 1904 team was: Chris Gieler,
third base; Herman Bansch, second; Larry McGon-
igle, first base and Captain; W. Seeburger, short-
stop; W. Hynds, right field; A. Smith, center field;
O. Throne, left field; Ben Yocks, pitcher; Henry
Gieler, catcher. Substitutes were R. Flick, and Al.
Bansch, and Ray Humphrey was manager.
But in two years, the park was closed — ex-
penses couldn't be met, and the project died as
quickly as it was born.
Pavilion and Club House
The New Jersey Zinc Company
The rapid expansion of industry in this country
around the turn of the century greatly increased
the requirements for slab zinc in the Middle West.
The New Jersey Zinc Company, established in the
east since 1848, decided that additional smelting
capacity was needed to take care of the increased
The search for amid-west plant site ended in
Here were ample freight facilities, proximity
to the Illinois coal fields and pleasant living con-
Construction of the new plant began in 1905
on land which had comprised the farms of Charles
Savage and Wm. Harrison. Additional land for
the plant site was purchased from Bernard Yocks,
Jemimah Nisley, Polly Ann Pannebaker, ]. H. Gra-
ham, Frank Marliere, Fred Heitz, Ida Ellis, Nicholas
Luchsinger, J. Wolter, Henry Huber, J. Tucker, E.
Thron, P. J. Smith, Oliver Keim and others. The
plant site comprised approximately 175 acres.
The first plant built had facilities for the pro-
duction of slab zinc and sulfuric acid, and when
completed was the largest plant of its kind in the
United States. In 1923 a plant for the manufacture
of lithopone, a widely used zinc pigment, was add-
ed to supply the growing demand for that product.
The lithopone plant was operated until 1956 when
the increasing use of titanium dioxide as a pig-
ment made the production of lithopone uneconomic
and the lithopone operation was shut down.
With the start of the plant in 1905, W. A. Moore
was appointed plant superintendent, to be followed
by M. F. Chase in 1906. Chase remained in charge
until 1914 when W. M. Kelsey was made superin-
tendent. In 1916 D. C. Wray was placed in charge
of the plant and in 1921 he was replaced by H. G.
Hixon, under whose guidance the plant weathered
two depressions and rapidly expanded to meet the
demands of World War II. In 1948, after 27 years
of service both to the plant and the community,
Hixon retired. His duties were assumed by N. K.
Banks, who was succeeded in 1957, by Paul Jensen,
the present superintendent.
The number of people employed at the plant
has varied with demand, products made, and tech-
nical changes of process. At present 380 persons
The employment at the DePue plant has been
stable, as is evidenced by the long years of service
of many of its employees. Of the present enroll-
ment over 85 percent have service of 5 years or
more. Nearly 57 percent have service of over 20
years; 33 percent over 25 years, 22 percent over 30
years. Eight employees have service of over 40
years, 5 have service of over 45 years.
Out of the DePue plant of the New Jersey Zinc
Company comes a steady stream of zinc products
for use of many American industries. The automo-
bile industry is the largest user of die castings
made from alloys containing Horse Head special
zinc which is 99.99^ percent pure. Zinc die castings
are used extensively in the manufacture of wash-
ing machines, refrigerators, business machines,
hardware and small tools.
Horse Head Special zinc, along with slightly
lower grades, is consumed in large quantities by
the galvanizing industry in the production of zinc
coatings on steel.
A great deal of Horse Head special zinc is
used in the brass industry, to produce high quality
brass products such as household hardware, plumb-
ing equipment and rods and tubes for industrial
The Company is also an important producer
of metal powders which are finding increasing use
in the fabrication, by powder metallurgy methods,
of small metal parts.
Acid Plant and First Smelter Building
1903 — Where Zinc Works main gate stands today
Polish - Austrian - Creation Population
A large percent of DePue's population for over
50 years has been families of these descents. Their
customs, polka dances, accordion music, and sing-
ing groups, mixed with other customs of the village,
helped make DePue a typical American town.
Their recipes from "old country" for Potica,
Krapi, Pierogi, Strudel, Goulash, sausages and soups
have grown in popularity through the years.
Many of the early families were saloon keep-
ers. Some were in business and the second gener-
ation have continued in their parents' establish-
ments. Helen and Tony Grbac continue to run the
dairy; Vincent and Louis Machek in their father's
market; and Mary Planten in the Vozel-Zickar store.
Most of this population are members of St.
Mary's parish. They have always taken an active
interest in school and civic organizations. Many
of the second and third generations have acquired
degrees in education. Many are in business else-
The lodges of these people are listed in another
chapter. Of special interest in 1916 was the Polish
Falcons of DePue, Nest 701, of the Polish Alliance
of America. Their petition asking permission to drill
and parade in the Village was signed by 100 sig-
natures. Listed are a few: Sulina, Potoschi, Giboro-
ski, Meger, Spayer, Kemieciak, Trock, Gols, Koszlo-
ski, Kendzierski, Kuss, Truszkowski, Dembauski,
Zielieskiewicz, Zyskowski, Badinowicz, Iwaniki and
I.O.O.F. Hall In 1880; New Gym Stands Here Today
The Mexican Population
The first Mexican family to come to DePue was
the Phillip Borrosas in 1915. Mr. and Mrs. Barrosa
are deceased, but their son Manuel and family live
in DePue. Their other children have moved av/ay.
The Apolinar Gomez family came in 1917 after
living a short time in Bureau. Seven of their chil-
dren have moved away, but Isabel, a teacher in
the Peru Roosevelt school, lives at home. Mr. Go-
mez will retire from the New Jersey Zinc Company
The Jesus and Faustino Barajas came in 1918
and moved away in the 1930's. From 1918 to 1923,
the following families came; Hilario Rodriquez, Sr.,
Sabino Padillo, Peter Manrriquez and his parents,
Antonio Cerda and Steve Torres. Others came but
later moved to Davenport, Iowa, in the 1940's. In
1924 the Manuel Galindo, Sr., family came. Mrs.
Galindo passed away in 1961 and Mr. Galindo re-
turned to Mexico.
There are now approximately fifty-five families
in DePue, most of them being second generation
young adults. The Padillas, Manrriquezs, Castane-
das, and Montezes are one "big family."
They had their own customs and music, and
organized a band in the early 1930's, playing at so-
cial gatherings and several times at P-TA meetings.
The young people organized a club called the Az-
tecs. In the 1940's it was reorganized and called
the Mexican Youth Club. It promoted sports, dances
and contests and existed until 1950.
The Mexicans are members of St. Mary's par-
ish. They presented as a gift to the church, a fluor-
escent light halo-frame for the main altar.
Their special foods, such as tocas and enchil-
adas, are enjoyed by many DePue people at the
Lakeview tavern, which is operated by the Jesus
Forty-three boys and two girls from DePue
served in World War II. Joseph Espinoza gave his
life in Germany in 1945.
Some of the second generation have become
teachers, nurses, musicians and businessmen. This
year Manuel Salcedo was elected to the town
board. Miss Lupe Ponce, a graduate of the DePue
schools and Northern State Teachers' College, has
taught in the DePue schools for the past ten years.
It was through her efforts we were able to compile
this short history of the Mexican population.
The Spanish Population
The Spanish families, smaller in number than
the other three nationalities listed, came in the early
1900's. The men were "furnace men" at the plant.
Some entered into business at various times, in-
cluding the Blanco, Garcia, and Suarez families.
Some of the second generation are in business in
DePue and elsewhere; others have acquired college
degrees and are teachers and nurses.
Prominent early Spanish families were the
Blancos: Max, Tom, Manuel and Martin; the Suar-
ezes: Vincent, Angel, Manuel, Joseph and Olegar-
io; the Garcias: Joseph, Angel and Servando; Man-
uel Busto, Manuel Modesto, Joseph Martinez, A.
Alvarez, Marcelino Rodriquez, and the Menendez,
Lopez, Vega and Fernandez families.
It has been reported that at one time, there
were 27 nationalities in the village.
George M. Bryant Store — 1906
History of St. Mary's Parish, DePue, Illinois
Although a history of Bureau County, pub-
lished a century ago, tells us that the first Chris-
tian services held in Bureau County were held m
1673, when Father Marquette, a missionary priest
landed on the shore of Lake DePue, erected a
cross and said Mass, there is no record of any fur-
ther Catholic services in DePue, until more than
two centuries had passed.
In the early 1900's, the Catholics of DePue,
numbering then about seventy-five families, were
served by visiting priests from Peru, LaSalle and
Spring Valley, in the early mission. Services were
held in Fowler's Hall, on the second floor of what
is today known as the Lakeview Tavern.
In this hall was solemnized the first Catholic
wedding in DePue, in September, 1908, that of
Monica Truck and Vincent Staskiewicz, the parents
of Ray Staskiewicz.
Polish Church DePue — 1907
The Catholic population of DePue at that time
was known as St. Mary of Czestochowa, when it
was organized in 1908. In 1909, a frame church
building was erected in the White City district, on
land donated by the late Oliver Keim. The parish
was under the pastorate of Fr. Casimir Truszynshi
of St. Valentine's in Peru. He was succeeded in turn
by Father Przybyz and Father Dwernicki.
Located as it was, aw^ay from the main part
of town, the frame church was inconveniently lo-
cated for many of its parishioners, so in 1916, it
was moved from the site in White City to the pres-
ent church site in the Park Addition.
In 1914, Fr. Anthony Majewski became the
resident pastor, serving until 1919. During his pas-
torate the parish purchased a large club house
from the New Jersey Zinc Co. The building stood
on the present site of St. Mary's Hall, and had been
used as a hotel when DePue was known as a resort
town. The building was converted into a school
and rectory, and was used for a time for church
Early in 1917, a disastrous fire destroyed the
school and rectory building. A new brick parish
house was erected in 1918, at a cost of $8,000.
In 1919, Father S. F. Kubiak replaced Fr. Ma-
jewski, serving until 1930. During this time a new
school was erected. It was staffed by Felician Sis-
ters, with an enrollment of over 100 pupils. During
the depression years it became necessary to dis-
continue the school, and the building became
known as St. Mary's Hall.
Tragedy struck a second time in 1924, when the
frame church building was destroyed by fire. Im-
mediately plans were made for rebuilding, and ni
1925, a new brick structure erected at a cost of
$30,000.00 was dedicated with appropriate services.
By 1948, the indebtedness had all been cleared.
Mary's Catholic Church and Rectory — 1961
In September, 1930, Father M. T. Szalewski
succeeded Father Kubiak, remaining until 1952,
when ill health forced his retirement, and Father
Dzuryo, the present pastor, succeeded him.
Meanwhile the church has shown a steady
growth in membership, with many nationalities rep-
resented, and the name was changed to St. Mary's.
Today there are over 300 families in its membership.
Included among the organizations active in
supporting church programs and raising funds for
the various necessities of the parish are the Holy
Name Society, St. Anne's Sodality, Young Ladies
Altar Sodality, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Playing an important part in church life are
the senior and junior choirs, with Miss Nancy Rauh
as organist. During the past, this important posi-
tion has been filled by Mrs. Fay Gutshall and Mrs.
Vincent Staskiewicz (both now deceased). Miss Ju-
lie Rettko (Mrs. Robert Drugan), Miss Susan Rettko,
(Mrs. David Kristo), Miss Judith Szygenda (Mrs.
Ronald Actis) and Miss Barbara Staskiewicz.
Vocations include five nuns who have dedicat-
ed their lives to the service of God, namely:
Sister Mary Benigna, the former Catherine
Ladyga, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Peter
Ladyga, and a twin sister of Julius Ladyga, of the
Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Sister Mary Loretta, the former Martha Anne
Terando, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Terando,
of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Con-
Sister Clare Marie, the former Delores Giovon-
ine, daughter of Angel and the Icrte Johanna Leon-
ard Giovanine, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sac-
Sister Mary Sean, the former Sheila Gurnett,
daughter of Gail and the late Mary Cassidy Gur-
nett, and a twin sister Sr. Vincetta, of the Order
of St. Benedict, now stationed at Nauvoo, 111.
Sister Mary Vincetta, is the former Nora Gur-
nett, daughter of Gail and the late Mary Cassidy
Gurnett, and a twin sister of Sr. Sean of the Sisters
of the Holy Cross, now stationed at Holy Cross
Seminary Notre Dame, Indiana.
It is interesting to note that of the five nuns,
three have the distinction of being registered nurs-
es and two are twins. — Grace Smith McClure
DePue Congregational Church
The Rev. E. Paddock recorded his unsuccessful
attempt in 1880 to establish a church in the village.
But a year later he was asked to return, "Because
the recent election had changed the complexion
of the town."
He started Sunday school in the school base-
ment, and through many adverse conditions, con-
tinued to hold services. Eventually a church was
organized. He and his followers, besides begging
for funds to finance a church, put in many hard
days work building and painting it.
The building was dedicated in 1886 as a Con-
gregational church and served the people until
1925. There were twenty-two charter members in
the 1886 church. Two remain, Lillian and Elizabeth
Banschbach, whose ages are ninety and ninety-
Ministers of the church include Reverends W.
p. Pease 1886-87; E. A. Paddock 1887-?; Parker Hur-
less 1889-94; M. Williams 1894-96; D. J. Torrence
1897-99; T. R. Edgerton 1900-01; M. C. Elliott 1901-02;
Parker Hurless 1902-06; W. Pierce 1906-07; H. F.
Hegner 1907-09; T. R. Edgerton 1909-10; F. H. An-
derson 1912-14; W. W. Hart 1914-15; F. C. Carpen-
ter 1916-18; I. C. Campbell 2 months, F. L. Breen
6 months; John Dornhoeffer 1919-28; A. B. Miller
1928-30; C. B. Gould 1930-36; H. Putney 1936-40;
S. Lee 1941-43; J. S. Shelby 1943-44; L. Jones 1944-
48; J. Harper 1949-57; R. Kistler 1958-59; G. Zilliac
May 8, 1960, who is the present pastor.
In 1920, an adult Sunday school class organized
by the Rev. J. Dornhoeffer was called The Hurless
Memorial Bible Class, in honor of the late Parker
Hurless. Of the fourteen charter members only
three remain, Fred Stuber, Mrs. W. Richardson and
Mrs. Hugh Davis. Other charter members were
Mrs. Martha Keim, Mrs. Albert Frey, Mrs. J. Graham,
Mrs. Lloyd Hurless, Mrs. C. Blindt, Frank Ellis, Mrs.
Fred Stuber, Miss Lynn Smith, Mrs. J. Coppens, D.
C. Evans, and Mrs. J. McClain, teacher. Mrs. Nora
O'Byrne was teacher for many years.
The Ladies Aid was organized in the early
church, and their fund raising projects have aided
tremendously in the financial upkeep of the church.
They meet monthly in homes.
Setta Frey, 87, One of DePue's Oldest Citizens
Miss Setta Frey, now eighty-seven years old,
was one of the first officers. She played an import-
ant part in the growth of the society, having served
as president over forty years before retiring.
The five Ladies' Aid circles combined member-
ship is seventy. Mrs. Clarence Herzog is president.
As far as could be determined, the two remaining
charter members are Miss Setta Frey and Mrs. W.
The present brick edifice costing $31,000 was
erected in 1925, during the ministry of the Rev. J.
Dornhoeffer. Individual contributions, and a sub-
stantial one from the New Jersey Zinc Company,
swelled the building fund.
The auditorium with balcony is finished in
fumed oak and seats three hundred people. The
Gratian pipe organ was dedicated in 1926. Mrs.
Elva R. Heylmun was organist.
An amplification chimes system was dedicated
May 30, 1948. It was a gift from Mrs. Marcella
Joosten, Peoria, Illinois, and Mrs. Ireta Bremer, Dan-
ville, Illinois, in memory of their parents, Mr. and
Mrs. Albert Frey, who were faithful active members
of the church.
Other families who played an important part
in the advancement of the early church are the
Smiths (Nora O'Byrne's parents), Frank Ellis, Jacob
Lusingers, Banschbachs, and Hurlesses.
Church organizations are the Men's Fellowship
organized in 1950 by the Rev. J. Harper. The group
helps considerably in the upkeep of the church,
the parsonage and grounds.
The Ladies' Guild is the outgrowth of a Sunday
school class called Philathea. Mrs. Lloyd Hurless
was teacher. In 1923 under the leadership of Mrs.
H. Davis, the group became the Ladies' Missionary
Society and met weekly. In 1931 it was called the
Young Ladies' Guild, and later changed to Ladies'
Guild. It meets monthly and its membership is
forty-nine. Charter members are still active. Mrs.
Ethel Knauf was a former teacher of the class.
The Pilgrim Fellowship is a young people's
group and was organized in 1952 by the Rev. John
There are junior and senior choirs under the
direction of Mrs. Louis Yuvan, with Mrs. Warren
Boyer as organist.
The Young Couple's Club, a social group, was
organized in 1961, by the Rev. George Zilliac.
Clarence Herzog, Sunday school superintend-
ent, is assisted in the junior department by Mrs.
Thomas Glover; in the primary by Mrs. Paul Jen-
sen, and the Cradle Roll with Mrs. Ransom Bur-
den. Mrs. H. G. Hixon, Jessie Lange and Marie
Baumer were active Sunday school workers for
A board of trustees, deacons, and deaconesses
manages the affairs of the church. The church
membership is three hundred. There are seven
In 1961, the members voted to merge with the
United Church of Christ. — Nola Glover
Congregational Church 1886
Congregational Church 1961
Pilgrim Park Youth Camp
The summer camping site of the lUinois Con-
gregational Conference of Central Illinois, is a short
distance northwest of DePue.
Dr. Glen Lindley, former northern area super-
intendent, is credited with the establishment of the
camp. In 1946, he arranged for two gifts of land,
from Miss Lynn Smith and Mrs. Marie Burnett, for
the original 30-acre site. Additional land was ac-
quired in 1952.
Ministers and laymen from the area churches.
Pilgrim Park Located West of DePue on Route 29
under the leadership of Dr. Lindley, erected the
present dining hall and cabins. They held the dedi-
cation services in 1947. Since then there have been
additional buildings, the newest is shower and
toilet facilities in the girls' area.
A pool was the project of the Rev. John Harper,
camp manager from 1949 through 1957, while he
was pastor of the DePue church. He is now minister
in Spring Valley Congregational church. The pool
is named in his honor.
Delegations of youth from area churches and
various religious groups are registered from June
The Rev. W. Dupree, Bureau, became camp
manager in 1958, and has continued to develop and
maintain the park. There are swinging bridges
and many beautiful trails in the park.
Outdoor worship is regularly scheduled on Ves-
per Point, where a huge concrete cross stands amid
trees and shrubs.
There are at least 15 cottages, each costing
$400, and bearing the name of the church sponsor-
ing it. There is a huge dining hall, medical center,
canteen, an assembly chapel hall and a modern
Interurban Depot Now Dr. J. L. Foresman's Office
We have depended on records of the late Mrs.
91bert Frey to bring together the history of early
education in DePue. We quote: "The first record of
any school in the village goes back to when there
were only six families in the settlement. School
was held every Saturday afternoon in the Martin
Young, Sr., home with his son, Martin, Jr., as the
The first school house was built in 1858, and
furnished with a bell which remained in use until
1928. Mrs. Litchfield was the teacher in this one
room, crudely furnished school. The building is
still standing at Third and Lake Streets. Remodeled
in 1928, it is presently the home of Mr. and Mrs.
In 1874, a fine new brick building was erected
on the corner of Second and Pleasant streets, ll
had only two rooms and it was soon found neces-
sary to convert the basement into a third class
room. Mr. Hill was the principal and directors were
William Q. Smith, Martin Banschbach and Ed. Tin-
In the years 1884-1885, F. Brainerd was a
teacher and his old record book revealed some of
the students were Elizabeth and Lillie Banschbach,
Lisetta Frey, Dolly Luchsinger, Charlie Pope, Philip
Link, George Smith, Willie and Freddie Heitz. The
first three named still survive.
The first class to graduate from the two year
high school in 1895 included only three students:
Mamie Hahn, Bertha Baumer, and Lottie Kellogg.
W. D. Peck was the teacher.
In 1896, there were seven in the two-year grad-
uating class: Hattie Powers, Lulu Powers, Mary
Sullivan, Anna Throne, Hattie Smith Anna Yocks
and Setta Seeburger. The last two survive. H. Per-
rin was the teacher.
With the establishment of the Zinc Company
here about 1904, the population increased rapidly
and in 1906, it was necessary to build a temporary
frame building. Only five teachers were employed
in 1907-08, all DePue residents. They were H. N.
Larens, principal, Eleanor Johnson, Laurette Haz-
lett, Alma Smith, and Florence Hindle.
In 1914 the brick building was razed and the
frame building sold to be subsequently remodeled
into the present Marliere flats. A large modern
brick building was erected that year at a cost of
7',.t „^;k.8l _Da»V.. Ill-
DePue Schools 1874 - 1907 - 1914
With the development of the Zinc Plant, more
families moved to DePue with a resulting increase
in school enrollment. Between the years 1900 to
1930, the enrollment increased sevenfold. In 1925,
more space was imperative and an addition was
built to comprise the elementary grade rooms and
the gymnasium-auditorium, at a cost of $75,000.
Previous to 1917, there were but ten grades in
the school. The Class of 1917, numbering seven
girls and one boy, was the first to receive diplomas
following completion of the four year high school
In 1928, the first year book of the school was
published. Thomas Blanco, a member of the Jun-
ior Class, gave it its name "Recuerdo" a Spanish
word meaning remembrance.
Among the superintendents who have served
the DePue school are J. T. Finn, S. G. Irwin, C. G.
Wilson, O. M. Smith, David Calvert, F. Harrington,
J. C. Wiedrich, W. HoUoway, Ray Stutz, 1. C. John-
son, and the present Thomas Leeson.
In 1954, DePue voters voted "yes" to issue
bonds of $240,000 to make necessary additions and
improvements to the school building, which had
again become inadequate. The kindergarten and
two elementary classes were conducted in build-
ings outside the school.
The old "gym" was converted into class rooms,
and a new "gym" was built on property north of
the school. The new 91 ft. x 130 ft. gymnasium is
constructed of concrete block, with a roof of steel
trusses. It has an acoustical ceiling and recessed
lighting. It will seat 1200. The 50 ft. x 84 ft. gym
floor of hard maple is large enough for two gym
classes to be conducted simultaneously.
The faculty for the year 1960-61 is headed by
Thomas Leeson, superintendent, and
Mrs. Edith Serkes — kindergarten
Mrs. Edna Henley — first grade
Miss Angeline Lusinger — second grade
Miss Jessie Lange — third grade
Mrs. Nelle Kelly — fourth grade
Mrs. Gordon Grahame — fourth grade
Mrs. Dorothea Yuvan — fifth grade
Mrs. Bernice Bryant — sixth grade
Miss Marie Baumer — seventh grade
Mrs. Blanche Widmar — seventh grade
Mrs. Amelia Sticken — eighth grade
Miss Geneva Vickery — eighth grade
High School Faculty
Philip Sawlaw — chemistry, physics, general
science, science 8
Donald Talbot — coast, boys P.E., biology.
Frank Shoufer — music
Robert Lewis — industrial arts, arts 8, grade
school coach, driver training
Meyer Serkes — typing, shorthand, bookkeep-
John Orolin — mathematics
Mrs. Marcia Tuttle — home ec, home ec 8,
Miss Elsie Gurnett — U. S. and world history,
civics and American Democracy.
Mrs. Robert Lewis — girls physical education.
Mrs. Louise Heck — English
Miss Lupe Ponce — Spanish and speech
Mrs. Barbara Belski — secretary
The Board of education is Melvin Hahn, presi-
dent, V/illiam Glovei, secretary, Donald Bosnich,
J. S. Haynes, Harold Maloney, and Henry Laczew-
Present enrollment is 306 students in the grades
and 127 in the high school.
Main Street Looking West
Main Street Looking East
History of DePue Organizations
"When Alexis de Tocqueville traveled in the
United Stales during Jackson's administration (1829-
1837) studying American habits and customs, he
was astounded by Ihe number of civic societies and
in his "Democracy in America" he wrote: 'In no
country in the world has the principle of association
been more successfully used, or applied, to a great-
er multitude of objects than in America ... In the
United States associations are established to pro-
mote the public safety, commerce, industry, moral-
ity and religion.
'There is no end which the human will despair
of attaining through the combined power of indiv-
iduals combined in a society.' " — From Beard's
Basic History of the United States.
The first large civic group we know of in DePue
was a Miners' Union formed about 1889, with a
membership of approximately 65.
Many men from DePue, numbering sometimes
lip to 100, were employed in the coal mine in Mar-
guette, known in early days as Loceyville. Old
timers tell of the hardships endured by the miners
and their families during a long strike. Fish was
Ihe only free food obtainable and the local fisher-
men often made special hauls in the lake for the
benefit of the unemployed miners who eagerly
helped with the seining. A not uncommon sight
during the strike, was the bobbing pit lamps worn
by the miners, which could be seen across the lake
as the strikers fished at night.
The DePue men who worked in the Marquette
mine walked both ways on the railroad tracks, a
distance of two and one-half miles. In the dark
winter mornings and early evening darkness the
lighted pit caps lighted the long walk via the rail-
DEPUE BOAT CLUB
There was a time before the town "boomed'
"when boating was the main diversion and many
boots were anchored along the north shore of the
Jake. Gradually there was competition and so in
■a small way, races began. Inboard motors were
used then and we are told of a long boat built for
racing known as "The Ugly Duckling" which came
jrom Peoria. There would be a "handicap race "
which nevertheles was always won by the "Duck-
These early races led to the forming from time
to time of boat clubs which are dimly remembered.
The name of one was the "Nassau." There was a
later club that had summer picnics at Riverside
Park on the south bank of the Illinois River. Some
of the members were: M. T. Hazlett, F. L. Powers,
Alfred Lawrence, Robert Hoffman, Louis Feurer,
John H. Goering and James Brennan.
Labor Day celebrations featuring boat races
started more than forty years ago. This led to the
need of an organized group to take charge of the
event. American Legion members F. E. Peterson
and J. P. Helmer and Commander Sanford Deal
met with business men. Dr. Wm. Steele, F. J. Rauh
and Matt Fassiso and organized the present DePue
Boat Club in 1931.
Dr. Wm. Steele was elected Commodore and
F. J. Rauh, Secretary. Mr. Rauh, owner of the local
telephone exchange, owns a sound system and
broadcast all of the events of the day including the
With the exception of a few years during the
war, the Labor Day celebration has been an annual
event, and 1960 was the tenth year that the Divis-
ional Championship races have been held here.
This year, the A.P.B.A. National Outboard Cham-
pionship races will be the feature of the DePue
Centennial, Sept. 13-18, replacing the annual Labor
The Boat Club has an important port in the
community. To make it easier for boat owners to
launch their craft, the club has built a concrete run-
way down to the water's edge on Lake Street.
There is also a parking area there. They have built
a pier which is used by swimmers and fishermen.
The Club has leased a large plot of ground
west of town on Route 29, formerly known as Fow-
ler's Grove, to be used for picnics. There are fa-
cilities for cooking; and telephone service is
provided. A shelter has recently been built by the
Club. The park is available for use upon request.
Present officers of the Boat Club are Erven
Floyd, Commodore, F. J. Rauh, Secretary, and James
DePue Fire Truck Purchased in 1961
DEPUE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT.
Although the Firemen's Association, with twen-
ty volunteer members is probably the smallest or-
ganization in town, it is one of, if not the, most im-
portant. It was organized May 4, 1892, by George
Beyer, Wm. Giesey, Peter J. Wolter, Simon Huber
and Frank Frey.
Recently an up-to-date new fire truck has been
purchased at a cost of $13,000, and the old true!:
has been rebuilt and modernized. A new building
to house equipment will be built on the southwest
corner of the Zinc Company property. This will
make fire-fighting equipment available on both
sides of the railroad tracks, a safety measure long
contemplated by the firemen.
The firemen have only one fund-raising event
during the year, the annual dace in January. Tic-
kets are mailed to all property holders. F. J. Rauh
is fire chief; Anton Grbac and John Wosik, asst.
fire chiefs; John Marple, president; Fred Rauh, Jr.,
secretary and treasurer. Fred Rauh, Sr., is also
president of the Illinois Valley Firemen's Commun-
ity Association which comprises twenty-eight com-
M. W. A. Band, DePue — 191 1
There is no record of the first band in DePue
but a few of the older residents remember it as the
Woodman Band directed by F. L. Powers, who gave
instructions. The group gave local and out-of-town
In 1926, the local post of the American Legion
decided to organize a drum and bugle corps. Not
enough members were interested, so starting a
brass band was discussed, with an invitation ex-
tended to anyone who was interested. Meeting
with a representative from a Peoria music store,
Mr. Vernone Galster, a band was organized with
about sixty members, many of whom had never
played an instrument. Officers were elected with
J. P. Helmer, president; Leo 'Walker, vice-president;
'Walther Hasse, secretary-treasurer, Harry Heitz,
librarian. Rehearsals were held in Fowler's Hall.
Arrangements were made whereby the members
could rent their instruments and take instruction
from Mr. Galster.
When the band had progressed sufficiently to
give weekly concerts, money was needed to fin-
ance the purchase of band arrangements and pay
the director. A band tax for this purpose was voted
by citizens of the village and the name was chang-
ed to DePue Municipal Band. After the death of
Mr. Galster, the band was under the leadership of
several directors including: Albert Sweet, Leonard
Bertrand, and the present director, Vincent Cinotto.
Summer concerts are held in conjunction with
ice cream socials sponsored by the various DePue
Present officers are: Louis Machek, president;
Homer Graham, vice-president; Paul Van Cleave,
secretary-treasurer; Neber Pizzamiglio, manager;
and Primo Chiesi, librarian.
Lodge No. 951, A.F & A.M. was organized Oct.
10, 1912, with 26 charter members. D. C. Wray was
the first Worshipful Master, and Harvey Seeley,
senior warden. The first meetings were held in
the old Odd Fellows Hall. When N. L. Bremer, a
charter member of the lodge, built his clothing store
on the corner of Fourth and Pleasant streets, the
upper story was completely furnished and carpet-
ed and used as the Masonic Hall. In 1928, the
Masonic Building Association bought a building
on East Fourth street, their present headquarters.
Adolph Ristou is Worshipful Master; Harry
Marple, Senior Warden, Walther Hasse, Secretary;
and Leo Walker, Treasurer.
The Slovenian Lodges, with a large member-
ship, are affiliated with the National organization.
They are organized for both fraternal and insurance
purposes. In 1927, they purchased a store building
on the corner of Trenton and Willow Streets, from
Nick Raptis, who had occupied it as a fruit store.
It has been extensively remodeled from time to
time, the basement now being equipped with fa-
cilities for cooking and serving parties. In 1957
the entire front of the building was rebuilt and
The first group, known as the Slovenian Na-
tional Benefit Society, was organized in 1907, with
13 members. The late John Slatner Sr., was the
first president. The present officers are John Yuvan
Sr., president; John Zugich, secretary; John Blatnick,
treasurer. The present membership is 140 adults
and about 75 juveniles.
The American Fraternal Union No. 130 started
in 1922, with 18 members, the late Igaatz Jontz be-
ing the first president. Now there are about 50
adult members and 30 juveniles carrying insurance.
John Kopina Sr., is president; Joe Kerzan, secretary;
John Blatnick, treasurer.
Slovenian Lodge No. 754, S.N.P.J. was organ-
ibed in 1938, as an insurance group only, with a
membership of about 50. Louis Machek, the first
president, still heads the group. Joe Zoran is secre-
tary, and Mrs. Louis Mashek, treasurer.
The Slovenian Women's Union met first on
Dec. 19, 1937, and elected Mrs. Mary Stupar presi-
dent. She still presides at the monthly meetings of
the group. Serving with her are Mrs. Anton Jer-
menc, secretary; Mrs. John Zabavnik, treasurer; Mrs.
John Spolar, recording secretary. There are about
Banschbach Home on Left; Rhyne Ellis Home on Right
LLOYD KNOWLTON POST NO. 327
Of the four service organizations in DePue,
the American Legion Lloyd Knowlton Post No. 327
was first, organizing in 1919, with 54 members.
The first commander was J. F. Scott. James Harmon
is the present commander, Frank Kuhar, vice-com-
mander; Homer Graham, adjutant. Meetings are
held the first Monday of the month in the Water
They assist the DePue Boat Club with the Labor
Day celebrations. The American Legion has been
awarding medals annually to the three top graduat-
ing seniors in the high school for scholarship, ath-
letics, and activities since 1940. The American Le-
gion name plate plaque in the school was started
in 1930. Sanford Deal, Legion member, has been
in charge of this project for many years.
Timothy E. Sullivan, service officer of the DePue
post, has held county and stcrte offices, in both the
Legion and 40 and 8 organizations.
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
The American Legion Auxiliary was organized
in 1927, with Mrs. William Knowlton, the first presi-
dent. The present membership is 46, and the of-
ficers: Mrs. Frank Robeck, president; Mrs. Frank
Kuhar, first vice-president; Mrs. Joseph Salavanski,
second vice-president; Mrs. Timothy Sullivan, sec-
retary; Mrs. William Sullivan, treasurer; and Mrs.
Clyde Rhyne, chaplain.
In 1952, Mrs. Timothy Sullivan served as state
president of the Legion Auxiliary. Mrs. Leota Dun-
terman has served as state chairman of Civil De-
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS — POST 4602
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4602 was
organized in 1945, with Forrest Peterson elected
commander. The present membership is 146 and
officers are: Ray Spayer, commander; Michael
Schroeder, senior vice-commander; Stanley Piascyk,
quartermaster; Ray Steim, post advocate. The VFW
home, on First St., was built in 1948, and cleared
of indebtedness in 1951.
For a number of years, the VFW sponsored
a marble tournament every spring. In 1948, a
DePue player, Frank Hrovat, Jr., won the state
tournament and placed fourth in the National tour-
nament, held in Denver, Colo. The VFW post helps
finance the community Halloween and Christmas
The V.F.W. Auxiliary started in 1946, with Mrs.
Frank Baum, as first president. Membership now is
55 and the officers are as follows: Mrs. Wm. Miller,
president; Mrs. Vincent Lawniczak, senior vice-
president; Mrs. William Laicoff, junior vice-presi-
dent; Mrs. Frank Baum, secretary; Mrs. Slyvester
Marciniak, treasurer; Mrs. Marion Kopytkiewicz,
chaplain. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of
the month. They sponsor the Girl Scouts.
The first meeting of the Parent-Teacher Asso-
ciation was held on March 4, 1927, with Supt. J. C.
Wiedrich presiding. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wiedrich
were enthusiastic leaders in getting the organiza-
tion started. Attendance at the first meeting was
85, in April, 1961 it was over 100.
Officers for 1961-62 are Vincent Lawniczak,
president (serving his second term) Mrs. Frank
Kuhar, vice-president; Mrs. Daniel Kopina, secre-
tary; Edward Peterson, treasurer; Thomas Leeson,
superintendent. Credit for the membership of 402
is given to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Rosinski, who
City Hall Used Until 1908
have been membership chairmen for two years.
J. S. Haynes, legislative chairman for some time,
keeps the organization posted on current legislation.
The well-kept history of the organization in the
form of minutes and programs was made available
for research. Interesting is a list of all of the offi-
cers since the first meeting. Mrs. Charles Bates was
the first president, F. W. Krueger, vice-president,
Mrs. D. N. Tinker, secretary; John A. Gurnett, trea-
Mrs. J. W. Heylmun, third president of the
DePue P-TA and now living in Oak Park, went on
to become vice-president of the National Congress
of Parents and Teachers. While living in DePue
she started a Mother-Singers group and has direct-
ed the Mother-Singers groups at both State and
Going through the minutes and historian's
booklets we are reminded of the many projects the
P-TA has sponsored through the years. The latest,
approved in October, 1960, was granting a scholar-
ship to L-PO Junior College to a high school senior.
Don Latchford was chosen for this honor and the
presentation was made at the Class Night program
May 12, 1961, by Mr. Lawniczak. At the October
1960 meeting it was voted to sponsor Cub Scouts,
Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts. Other note-worthy
projects of the past were: Infant Welfare Station,
Summer Roundup, Open House for high school stu-
dents and the Thrift Shop, (the latter under the dir-
ection of Mrs. Hixon), the Mother-Singers, Room
Mothers, and Homemaking Group. The annual
Halloween party has always been sponsored by
DEPUE BOOSTER CLUB
Children in our great United States are, taken
as a whole, probably the most privileged in the
world. DePue children were especially favored
when in 1950, the DePue Booster Club was organ-
ized, their main purpose being to plan recreation
for children of the community. The hearty support
of the townspeople is evidenced in the membership
of 766, the largest organization ever formed in De-
Pue. Ray Vega was membership chairman the
past year, and Harold Banich will have the job
this year. Officers for 1961-62 are: Manuel Salcedo,
president; Robert Piletic, first vice-president; Don-
ald Bosnich, second vice-president; Mrs. George
Meagher, treasurer; Miss Lois Croissant, secretary;
directors: Mrs. Genevieve Croissant, Joseph Grilc,
Mrs. Edward Peterson, Harold Banish, Ray Vega,
and Miss Betty Suarez.
The first meeting was held March 7, 1950, with
Edward Kmieciak as the first president. Others
who were instrumental in getting the club started
were Victor Ruggerio, first vice-president, Edward
Jermenc, second vice-president, Joe Zoran, secre-
tary and treasurer; and the late John Dobrich and
Ray Staskiewicz, directors.
The two main projects of the Booster Club are
the annual Easter Egg Hunt and the summer swim-
ming program. Until 1959, when the women were
invited to join, the men colored the 500 eggs and
numbered them to correspond with numbered priz-
es in store windows.
During several of the warmest weeks in July,
the Booster Club furnishes transportation for school
children to go the Peru swimming pool. The Boost-
er Club also helps in financing the Halloween
party, the children's Christmas party, the annual
Athletic banquet. Once a year they take the boys'
basketball teams to Chicago and also give the
cheerleaders an outing. They have also contributed
to the expense of keeping the Recreation Center
operating. The club meets in the Recreation Center.
Although there are no records of the earliest
group of Boy Scouts, through the cooperation of
Mrs. Morse Bryant, whose husband belonged to
the first known group of Boy Scouts, we learn that
a troup was formed on April 4, 1912, under the
direction of Rev. F. H. Anderson.
This was a lone Scout troop, leaning more to
military training, and it continued until Jan. 1, 1914.
On March 1, 1916, another group was started under
the direction of Rev. F. C. Carpenter, with Mr.
Tusick as Scout Master.
In 1924, Ernest Jordan was Scoutmaster of a
troop, with James Meagher, D. N. Tinker, Frank
Cantwell, Louis Feurer and James Brennan on the
DePue Boy Scouts
The National Boy Scouts were chartered by
Congress, June 15, 1916 and new charters are sent
to each troop annually. The first charter on hand
for the DePue group, dated April 30, 1934, lists
Frederick Voorhaar as Scoutmaster. The 1935 char-
ter lists John McKinstry as Scoutmaster with William
Tyrer, assistant. McKinstry served as Scoutmaster
until he left for army service in 1941.
A. L. Theivagt, took over in 1943. In 1944, Her-
bert Hensey was assistant for Theivagt. Frank
Haywood became Scoutmaster in 1945, Raymond
Stutz in 1946-1948. In 1949-1950, Gilbert Johnson,
1951 to 1955, Robert Hensey. John Herzog, adviser
to the Explorers, became Scoutmaster in 1955, and
served until 1960.
Last July, a group of Explorers, with Scout-
master Herzog and his father, C. W. Herzog, at-
tended the National Jamboree in Colorado Springs.
For four years, beginning in 1956, the Scouts
sponsored the Inboard Boat races, held in June.
Included in the event were the first drag boat races
held in the middle west.
Clarence R. Herzog became the only Eagle
Scout to earn that award in DePue, in May, 1953.
About that time his father, C. W. Herzog, received
his Silver Beaver award.
Present leaders are as follows: H. John Meyer,
Scoutmaster, with Louis Muzzarelli, Dr. James
Foresman, John Thomas, Pete Dobrich and Everett
Simkins serving on the troop committee. John Bubon
has been appointed Institutional representative by
the P-TA. Previous to 1960, the Scouts were spon-
sored by the Congregational Church. Since then
the charter is issued to the P-TA.
John Orion is advisor of the Explorer Post.
There are 28 Explorers in Post 57, a gain of 100 per-
cent in membership since the fall of 1960.
Robert Piletic, Cub Master, has also been ap-
pointed Neighborhood Commissioner, and Henry
Benkse, chairman of Cub Committee.
There is no record of early Girl Scouts in DePue,
but we know that Mrs. William Kelsey, whose hus-
band was Plant Superintendent at that time, or-
ganized a group of Camp Fire girls. From 1923 to
1927, Mrs. T. E. Sullivan led a group of Girl Scouts,
assisted by Mrs. Andrew Beckley, Miss Ethel John-
son, and Miss Phyllis Croisant (now Mrs. Ernest
Recorded in the fiftieth anniversary program of
the Congregational church is the changing of a
group of Camp Fire girls organized in 1931, under
direction of Rev. C. B. Gould to a Girl Scout troop.
Miss Marie Baumer was captain, with Mrs. Bernice
Bryant, Mrs. Elsie Brand and Miss Mazine Wagner,
lieutenants. Mrs. Edward Powers was chairman of
the committee appointed by the church. Later Miss
Pearl Glover with Mrs. Bryant assisting, carried on
There is now an active group of Girl Scouts,
affiliated with the Illinois Valley council. The groups
are sponsored by the V.F.W. Auxiliary and directed
by an appointed committee; Mrs. Edward Widmar,
Mrs. Al Mentgen, Mrs. Donald Bosnich, Genevieve
Kopina, and Mrs. Nora Bryant.
Leaders of the Intermediate group are Miss
Betty Suarez and Miss Darlene Risberg. Brownie
leaders are: Mrs. John Widmar, Mrs. Jos. Haywood,
Mrs. Vincent Lawniczak, Mrs. Robert Harrison and
Mrs. William Laicoff.
DEPUE BUSINESSMEN'S ASSOCIATION
The DePue Businessmen's Association was or-
ganized April 26, 1950, with Louis Muzzarelli, presi-
dent; Louis Machek, secretary-treasurer, and John
Rostagno, Hyman Dobovski and Victory Ruggerio,
directors. Officers for 1961-62 are F. J. Rouh, presi-
dent; Louis Machek, vice-president; C. W. Herzog,
treasurer; directors for one, two and three years:
John Kopina, James Bryant and Henry Benkse, re-
The association cooperates in financing the
children's parties for Halloween and Christmas and
takes charge of all business affairs in the village.
UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA
The United Steel Workers of America, Local
No. 5212 organized in 1955, with George Barnes,
Jr., as first president. In January, 1960, the organ-
ization purchased a building on East St., remodeled
it extensively and redecorated the interior. The
present membership is 299. Officers are John Slat-
ner, president; Charles Athey, Jr., vice-president;
Jos Lopez, recording secretary; Ray Spayer, finan-
cial secretary, John Lavrin, Jr., treasurer.
AMERICAN RED CROSS
The local branch of the American Red Cross
was reorganized in 1957 with Mrs. Paul Jensen,
chairman. The present officers are: Mrs. Frank
Robeck, chairman; Rev. George Zilliac, vice-presi-
dent; Mrs. Harold Moloney, secretary; John McKin-
stry, treasurer; A. A. George, service officer, Mrs.
Jaul Jensen, director, Mrs. Ed Powers, publicity.
Mrs. John Restetich, Jr., was fund drive chair-
man for 1961. In the fall of 1960, a home nursing
course was taught by Mrs. George Meagher and
Mrs. Walter Walk, registered nurses, who had been
trained for the course at Red Cross headquarters
in Princeton. Sixty-seven women received diplomas
for completion of the course.
Aside from the Miners' Union, the first organ-
izations in DePue were probably the fraternal so-
cieties which offered both sociability and insurance.
The I.O.O.F. took out a charter in 1880 with 37 mem-
bers. The Modern Woodmen of America started
in 1890 with 6 members. Both groups were active
for many years, but at present there is but a small
beneficial membership in both organizations. Like-
wise, the Mystic Workers, was organized in 1903,
with 24 members. A number of members maintain
life insurance policies with the company, now
known as the Fidelity Life Association. Until her
death. Miss Mary Sullivan was secretary.
Two other early fraternal groups, the Fraternal
Toilers, organized in 1901, with 80 members, and
the Lodge Constance Rebekah, organized in 1904,
are no longer active, nor is the Lady Maccabees
Lodge, another fraternal organization. Starting in
1905, with 29 members, the Royal Neighbors Lodge
was active for many years. Now there are only
beneficial numbers with Mrs. John Blum collecting
the dues and looking after their interests. Former
members of the Modern Woodmen and the Royal
Neighbors remember the fine drill teams which
these groups had.
Mrs. O. M. Hagen was director of the ladies'
group. She was a snappy, capable leader of the
drill team which was much in demand for affairs
in surrounding towns where they put on their drill
work. The Woodmen also had a drill corps, band
members participating. The band director, F. L.
Powers, also led the drill team.
The Sefino Club was another which had no of-
ficers, only four members and no set meeting date,
but they met for many years with Mrs. J. P. Cough-
lin, an invalid confined to a wheel chair.
Most of the DePue organizations contribute
toward maintaining the Recreation Center. The
New Jersey Zinc Company provides the building,
equipment and heat. The Center is closed during
the summer. During the 1960-61 school term it was
open three evenings a week, with mothers of the
school children taking turns supervising. Affairs
of the Center are in charge of a Youth Commission
composed of Vere Rhyne, chairman, Mrs. Grace
Ellis and Miss Lupe Ponce, members.
To the officers and others who so kindly co-
operated in gathering information for this chapter,
I want to express my appreciation.
— Mrs. Florence Hindle Powers (Mrs. Edward)
The DePue State Bank
A charter was granted to the DePue State Bank
on Dec. 27, 1904. The state auditor of public ac-
counts had issued a permit for the opening of a
bank in DePue on June 25, 1904.
The first directors were: Henry Ream, Charles
Brunner, Frank Frey, Paul Jensen, Ernst Gunther,
Phillip Link. The first cashier was Harry F. Ream.
The officers were Henry Ream, president; Frank
Frey, vice-president; Harry R. Ream, cashier.
The bank opened for business in a small build-
ing which stood on the site of the present Recrea-
tion Center. (The building is still in use as a storage
shed on the Makse property,). About 1906 John
Frey put up the present bank building. In 1848
the bank bought it from Miss Setta Frey.
DePue State Bank on Right; Frey Store on Left — 1 906
Present officers are: Clarence Herzog, presi-
dent; and president of the board of directors; Mrs.
Alma McLaughlin, vice-president and cashier; Miss
Mary Miscevic, assistant cashier. Serving with Her-
zog on the board of directors are Ben Dunterman
and Mrs. McLaughlin.
Herzog recalls hearing his father tell of the ar-
rival of the safe which is still in use. It was shipped
in by rail and since it weighed nine and one-half
tons, getting it moved to the building posed a prob-
lem. His father brought his team and farm wagon
into town and with their assistance it was rolled
the block or so from the railroad tracks.
Mr. Ream was cashier for many years. Mr.
Herzog's employment at the bank started July 1,
1922 and when Mr. Ream passed away he became
Mrs. McLaughlin worked in the bank during
vacations begining with her freshman year and
continued until she graduated. As there was no
opening in the DePue bank at that time she worked
in a Princeton bank for three years. In 1928, Mr.
Edward Brooks, who had been employed in the
bank for many years, passed away and she re-
turned to take his place.
Others who have worked in the bank were Mrs.
Grace McClure, who started in 1921 and was cash-
ier when she left in 1930; Miss Marcella Frey, now
Mrs. E. J. Joosten of Peoria, and Henry Toeellen of
The bank is a member of the Federal Deposit
DePue Public Library
In 1937, a library opened in the Water Works
building under the N.Y.A. with Mrs. Eli Edwards
and Edward Hypki as librarians. In 1938, Mrs. Lou-
ise Helmer, (now Mrs. R. Eckard) was librarian
under W.P.A. supervision. In 1941, Mrs. AUie Dihs,
Spring Valley, was assistant librarian. In 1943, Mrs.
Eckard resigned and Mrs. Dilts became librarian.
The village levied a tax to maintain the library. In
1947 it was moved to the present building which
is owned by the New Jersey Zinc Company and
donated to the library board which is composed
of the following:
In 1961 there were 590 borrowers, a total of
6280 books and a yearly circulation of 10,386 vol-
President — Mrs. Edward Widmar; secretary —
Mrs. Leo Utterback; treasurer — Al George; mem-
bers: Mrs. Harold Maloney, Daniel Kopina and
DePue Telephone Company
Local business men and farmers organized the
Bureau County Mutual Telephone Company in
1907. Night service began in 1908 with the late
Elvene Monnett as operator. In 1910 it was incor-
porated under its present name with twenty-three
stockholders. Magneto service was replaced by
battery installation in 1926. F. Rauh Sr., and C.
Gieler acquired most of the stock. In 1935 Mr. Rauh
bought all interests.
The are 700 subscribers. A modern board was
installed in 1950. The exchange also operates the
Rauh is assisted by his children, Fred Rauh,
Jr., and Mrs. Marguerite Toovey, who is secretary.
Operators are: Mrs. J. Koptykiewicz, Mrs. M. Rauh,
Mrs. C. Rhyne, Miss Helen Lepianka, Mrs. J. Sa-
voure, Mrs. J. Bernatovich and Mrs. Fred Rauh,
Jr. Mr. Rauh is DePue's oldest businessman. Mrs.
F. Rauh, Sr., and daughter, Mrs. Adeline Conant,
DePue Post Office
The DePue Post Office was first established as
Selby Station on March 3, 1854. The name was
changed to Depue Post Office on May 6, 1867, and
the spelling was changed to DePue on July 14, 1894.
Postmasters and dates of appointments are as
Wallace W. Barrett - March 31, 1854
Hiram White - January 8, 1855
Edward Tinley - July 25, 1856
Jacob Bernhard - September 13, 1861
Edward Tinley - November 20, 1865
Edward Tinley - March 21, 1881
Frank Frey - January 18, 1890.
Mary E. Smith - July 14, 1894
John Feltes - September 7, 1895
Frank Frey - April 1, 1899.
Myrtle Smith - August 1, 1913
Forrest Peterson - December 15, 1927
Mrs. Eugenia Spaulding - February 1, 1936
Joseph Zoran - May 31, 1951
Stanley Piascyk - August 15, 1952
U.S. Postal Department, Courtesy of Stanley
Piascyk, DePue Postmaster.
DePue's Lake Press
John R. Herzog opened a shop in his home in
1944. Soon his business expanded and he moved
into the Isaacson building. He later purchased and
remodeled the Rex Theater and tavern building at
119-121 East Fourth Street and set up shop. He is
publishing a newspaper devoted exclusively to
news of Citizen Band Radio Clubs in the U.S.A.,
called "C-B Nationwide News." The inaugural May
edition was mailed to 6,300 Citizen Banders.
The Illinois Power Company
Homemakers today take for granted the clean,
efficient power of electricity which brings, at the flip
of a switch, — light, power, refrigeration, heat for
a variety of purposes — and a relief from drudgery
undreamed of at the beginning of the century.
Many older DePue residents remember the
kerosene lamps and the daily chore of washing
sooty chimneys. Far more laborious was the week-
ly washday with clothes either washed by hand
or in a hand-operated machine.
The water had to be carried from an outside
well except for the few homes having a cistern
pump in the kitchen. Water was heated in a boiler
on the cook stove or range; so were the flat irons
used for ironing.
DePue made a step forward when, according to
the village ordinance books, a franchise was grant-
ed in 1905 to operate an electric light system.
However, it was not until 1912 that there is a
reference to money being appropriated, "$2200 for
construction of an electric light system." Lines were
put up in the village and connected with Spring
Valley by the Brown Bros. Construction company,
the first power company collecting for electricity
in DePue. William Perkins, Spring Valley, now re-
tired, was foreman of construction in this area for
The Mineral Point Zinc company maintained
its own power plant. It furnished power for light-
ing the Plant-owned homes in the Park and on
Tower Hill as well as for use in the Plant.
The power company, still operated by Brown
Bros., became known as the Spring Valley Utilities.
They sold out about 1923 to the present corporation.
known then as the Illinois Power and Light com-
pany, and later the Illinois-Iowa Power company.
Leslie R. Harrison of Spring Valley, who retired in
1959, was area manager for many years.
Mrs. Ben Harrison, whose husband was DePue
lineman and trouble shooter until 1949, remembers
that when she came to DePue in 1923 Ben collected
in the office on "pay day" until 8 p.m.
Mrs. Leo Utterbach, who was secretary in the
local office from 1939 until her retirement in May,
1961, recalls that when she came to DePue, a
monthly bill of seventy-five cents was not unusual
for homes which now pay $10 to $12. This increase
in consumption of power is nation-wide due to the
manufacture of a large variety of electrical appli-
Miss Dorris Mathews, a native of Mineral, was
in the office from 1930 until 1939.
Others who have been employed in the electric
office are Miss Eleanor Richardson (Mrs. Clarence
Herzog) in the summer of 1927; Miss Goldie Glass
(Mrs. James Savoure) from 1927 until 1930; Miss
Roberta Moran (Mrs. Gene Engler) for six months
Jim Stein, the present lineman and trouble
shooter for DePue and towns west of here, moved
to DePue with his family in 1949 following Ben
Under direction of the DePue Centennial Com-
mittee, volunteer workers made a survey of the
town for the Power company in June, 1961 to find
out how many residents would be interested in
having natural gas service. At this date (August 1,
1961) the result of the survey is not known.
— Florence H. Powers
DePue's Service Records
THE CIVIL WAR
Due to the fact that 1961, DePue's centennial
year, is also the Civil War centennial year, it is
proper to recount, not only DePue's service record
but that of the State of Illinois, too.
From the book "The Making of Illinois" by I. F.
Mather, AM, we quote:
"Volumes have been written upon the part
Illinois played in the Civil War. Our state furnished
over 260,000 men, placing it fourth. New York, Penn-
sylvania, and Ohio furnished more troops — but
in 1861 each of these states had more inhabitants,
so in proportion to her population then, Illinois fur-
nished a greater number of soldiers than any other
state except Kansas.
A record of Illinois troops in the war would re-
count weary marches and fierce battles in Texas,
Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and oth-
er southern states.
Illinois troops withstood the shock of the rebels
hosts upon the bloody fields of Shiloh, they fought
at Perryville and Corinth; they contended at Chick-
amauga. Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain.
They waited weary weeks in the trenches
around Vicksburg for surrender; they fired the first
shot at Gettysburg; they marched with Sherman
from "Atlanta to the Sea" and took their place in
the last grand review.
DePue's Civil War Veterans
As correctly ascertained as possible, we find
at least five men who enlisted from DePue to fight
in the Civil War, namely Jacob Frey, a drummer
boy, Charles Frey, John Frey, Jacob Luchsinger and
Mr. Luchinger (Lusinger) was Bureau County's
last surviving Civil War veteran. He died in 1941
at the age of 97, lacking only 7 days of being 98.
He was a former Senior Vice-Commander of the
Illinois Department G.A.R. He was a member of
Ferris Post No. 309, Princeton Civil War Veterans.
While he was still able to travel, he attended the
National and State G.A.R. meetings regularly. He
Jacob Lusinger, the last Bureau
County Civil War Veteran. Pho-
to taken in Nelbourne, Florida in
1 934 - age 90 years.
had seved with the 79th Volunteers, and v/hen the
war ended he was in Chattanooga, Tenn.
His brother Andrew, was also a Civil War
veteran but did not live in DePue at the time of
enlistment. Andrew was with Sherman in his march
to the sea.
Benjamin Franklin Ellis, another Civil War vet-
eran, came to DePue after the war, and resided
here the remainder of his life. He spent some time
in the Andersonville prison.
Other Civil War veterans who lived in DePue
■include Daniel, Joshua, Jacob and Mose Fox; A. N.
Searl, David Marple, Robert Paden, Mike White,
Bart Litchfield, Lucas Lusom, Jacob Strickmaker,
John Eggerts, John Helmer, Daniel Tuttle, William
Charles, Solomon Corl, John Seeburger, Charles
Walker and Jacob Bernhardt.
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR
There is no record of any men having left De-
Pue for duty in this war in 1898. However several
Spanish American war veterans lived in DePue for
many years: George Gleason, Charles Mavity and
WORLD WAR I - 1917
In this war our soldiers fought in Europe. De-
Pue was proud of her quota, 116 in all. Only one
died in service, Lloyd Knowlton in whose honor
DePue's American Legion Post No. 327 is named.
Thirteen of the men were recruited to the Polish
Army and nineteen to the Serbian Army. DePue's
citizens purchased a fair share of Liberty Bonds
and War Stamps.
Taken Memorial Day, 1929, Greenwood Cemetery, Bureau,
Illinois. E. M. Turner, Squad Leader; Charles Tunis, Color
Guard; Morgan Savage, Color Guard; L. L. Pearson, Wil-
iam DeSpain, A. F. Kelly, J. F. Scott, R. E. Turner, F. E. Peter-
son, J. P. Helmer, L. J. Walker, T. E. Sullivan, H. Heitz, and
J. McKinstrey, Boy Scout bugler.
WORLD WAR II - 1941-1945
This war, much larger, and spread over many
continents and oceans, required more men. Again,
as nearly as possible to determine, there were ap-
proximately 470 to 480 men and women from DePue
in the service.
There are 14 Gold Star names in the record of
those who "gave the last full measure of devotion":
Pvt. Orentino Alverez; PFC. Theodore Biagioni;
Sgi. Wayne G. Buffinger; PFC. Joseph Espinosa;
PFC. Herbert Hensey; Corp. Edward S. Krywicky;
S/Sgt. Ivan E. May; PFC. George C. Meadowcroft;
1st Lt. Robert P. Moran; T/15 Lester Pinter; 1st Lt.
Carl Reistad; Pvt. Rudolph Slatner; S/Sgt. Fred
Yuvan; PFC Honry F. Yuvan.
Some of these boys are buried on foreign soil.
There were nine women from DePue in the
service during World War II:
PFC. Gretchen Williams - WACS; Dolores Go-
mez, Ph.M. 1 C - WAVES; T/3 Loretta Banasiewicz
- WACS; P.M. 1 C Joan Quinn - Navy; Lt. Comdr.
Madge M. Ellis - Navy; 1st Lt. Peggy Marguerite
O'Bryne - V/ACS; 1st Lt. Lu Gomez - Army Nurse;
PFC Gayle Smart - Army; 2nd Lt. Artie Mae Kelley
Did You Know?
G. M. Bryant (center), son
of G. A.; grandson Morse,
and great grandson, George
The fifth generation of Bryants is starting in
business in DePue! G. M. Bryant came to DePue in
1902 and operated a grain elevator and coal and
lumber business. His sons, George A. and Walter,
operated the hardware store and later sold cars.
Morse, son of G. A. Bryant, has continued in the
lumber and coal business aided by his son, James,
who now has a TV sales and repair shop. James'
son, twelve-year-old James, is beginning to help
The late Frank Cantwell joined the DePue Fire
Department in 1921, and served as chief from 1923
to 1955 when he resigned.
The late Charlie Pope was Village Clerk from
1907 to 1932 when he retired.
George M. Bryant was secretary-treasurer of
the DePue school board for thirty-five years.
Fred Rauh Sr., has been affiliated with the De-
Pue Fire Department holding various offices since
1912. He is the present fire chief.
Charles Savage raised many peacocks on the
north edge of town and children gathered the pret-
In 1903 Peter and John Wolters, carpenters,
were paid twenty-five cents an hour. They built
many beautiful big homes in DePue and surround-
ing towns. Mrs. Adeline Janz, Peru, daughter of
Peter Wolters, has many beautiful pictures of homes
her father built.
Oliver Keim operated a saw mill on his north
The Andrew Szygenda family built and oper-
ated a bakery shop in 1916-17-18 (?) on what is
now Blum's Clothing Store.
The Jacob Feurer family owned and operated
a big bakery for many years in a building, now
torn down, east of the Dwyer property. They sold
their goods in neighboring towns.
for and was given permission to use the council
rooms for a temporary hospital room to remove ton-
sils from ten or twelve school children.
In 1946 DePue's beloved policeman, Herman
Bansch, died. He was on the police force for twen-
Harry Ream was village treasurer for over
Harry Jordine operated an open air theater in
DePue in the 1920's.
August Bansch was village hall janitor for
Frank Powers' orchestra was playing for danc-
es in 1910.
The offices of Dr. J. Forseman was the old In-
The population of DePue in 1900 was 500; in
1950 it was 2163, and in 1961 is 1900.
In 1932-33 DePue had a sanded beach which
was enjoyed by hundreds of people in DePue and
from neighboring towns.
There was an encampment of five hundred
Blackfoot Indians at Lake DePue and along the
north bluff. What is known as Mecum Hill road to-
day was an Indian path from the bluff to the lake,
and many Indian relics have been found in this
Mrs. Julie Ann Trock, Mrs. Frank Ciboroski and
Mrs. Maggie Comiskey Bansch were important wo-
men in the village since they were midwives and
brought many of the second and third generations
into this world.
In 1915 Ray Gore's bid of $2.92 a ton for coal
was accepted by the village board.
Ray Gore was "tea man" for the Royal Tea
Company in DePue and neighboring towns for
The late Charles Isaacson was in business in
DePue for twenty-five years. He operated a confec-
tionery or ice cream parlor, and later the DePue
Bottling Works and sold "pop" in this area.
In 1924 Mrs. Loretta Seavey, Plant Nurse, asked
It is reported that the largest family to ever live
in DePue was the Anthony — Julie Ann Trock fam-
ily who came to DePue in 1908. They had 19 chil-
dren; five are living. The late Mrs. Minnie Staskie-
wicz was one of the children.
Mrs. Joseph Croissant, a long-time resident,
now a patient in a Peoria hospital, is over 100 years
old; Elizabeth Banschbach, an invalid at home is
92, and her sister, Lilly Belle, is 91; Ernest Hasse,
former mayor is 90. There are many residents past
80 years old, to include Sette Frey 87, Lloyd Hurl-
ess 86, Dan Hall 86, and Stanley Spayer 85.
Preparing the history booklet required exten-
sive research. Some records v/ere incomplete, and
in a number of cases where there were no records,
the descendants were unable to furnish facts.
Even so, much interesting material was glean-
ed from various sources that have been acknowl-
edged in the different chapters. In addition, the
village administrative records from 1866 to 1961
were used, old property deeds, church and ceme-
tery records verified names and dates, and old set-
tlers gave first hand information.
Condensing the material into a small booklet
posed a real problem. Chapters had to be re-writ-
ten, shortened, and many interesting facts had to
be omitted. It is understandable that what might
seem inconsequential to some readers will be of
genuine interest and importance to others. May the
booklet prove to be an interesting cherished keep-
The committee feels privileged to have had the
interesting experience of compiling the history. We
want to thank everyone who helped in any way
with the booklet.
Mrs. Alice Deal, Mrs. Ed Powers, Mrs. Kathryn
Godfrey, Miss Nolo Glover, Mrs. Bernice Bryant,
Mrs. Anna Lawless, Mr. Ira Searl, and John Ellis,
writers; Mrs. Grace McClure and Mrs. Delia Walsh,
typists; Albert Sanger in charge of pictures; Mrs.
Blanche Widmar and Miss Marie Baumer, proof
readers; and cover sketching by Edward Grilc.
This history book, which you have just read,
was compiled by the people listed on the preced-
ing page under Acknowledgements. They have put
a great amount of time and effort into the writing
of this history. Page upon page of information was
gathered by these people. This informcrtion had
to be broken down into various categories and
some information had to be omitted because of the
I had asked Mrs. Alice Deal to assume the re-
sponsibility of gathering information and compil-
ing this information into a history of the Village of
DePue. Without hesitation, she readily accepted
this position as head of our History Committee. She
selected the other members of this committee and
they plunged into this huge task.
After reading this history, I know that she and
her committee did a tremendous job. They should
be congratulated by everyone on the outstanding
way in which the history of DePue was written.
There are not enough words to express my
gratitude to Mrs. Deal and her committee. On be-
half of the Centennial Committee — Thank you.
Gerald R. Toovey
DePue Centennial Committee